Round Lake Area Unit District 116’s unwanted furniture will benefit schools in an impoverished area of Jamaica.
Two truckloads of what District 116 officials deemed as excess tables, chairs and more were donated Monday to a nonprofit that helps Third World countries.
“A lot of that furniture at one time was donated to us,” said Sheila Duhon, the district’s director of facilities operations. “So, for us to pay it forward is great.”
Duhon said the contributions went to Food for the Poor, an international Christian ministry that serves 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The organization, which began in Jamaica in 1982, is headquartered in Coconut Creek, Florida.
District 116 operations supervisor Carl Tredway said 568 pieces of furniture are headed to Spanish Town, Jamaica. The furniture will be used at Spanish Town schools.
Tredway said 360 desk-and-chair sets, 33 elementary school desks, 90 stacking chairs, 17 upholstered chairs, two conference room tables, 25 stools, 40 file cabinets and one piano were donated to Food for the Poor.
“It gave me great pleasure coordinating the donation of the furniture to needy children to assist in furthering their education, because they are the world’s future,” Tredway said.
Food for the Poor President/CEO Robin Mahfood said the furniture from District 116 will help to bring new life to the Jamaican schools. He said the best way to break the poverty cycle is through providing an education to children.
“Students who had to sit on splintered wood benches or worse will be able to concentrate on their studies and will be able to have a brighter future,” Mahfood said. “We are grateful, and we know the children will be as well.”
Food for the Poor has built, repaired or expanded about 206 schools in Jamaica since its inception.
District 116 still had some furniture to contribute to a Lake County church after giving to Food for the Poor. Tredway said 60 desks and a piano went to Church of Joy in Waukegan.
District 116 Superintendent Constance Collins said she was pleased with the donation effort.
“We are a district that has and continues to benefit from the gracious gifts of others,” Collins said. “We are so pleased that we now have the opportunity to give back to others in need.”