The smell of fresh-cut wood swirls around the garage as Jerson Ramirez’s circular saw cuts through another board.
This garage is his happy place.
“I really enjoy the time that I have here,” said Ramirez. “It started as a hobby when I moved here. I started building some little stuff.”
The little stuff became big projects in the Chula Vista man’s garage. He’s working on a custom closet and a dark wood table.
Those projects are surrounded by dozens of smaller wooden school desks. Ramirez is making the desks for school children who are forced to learn at home but may not have a spot at home to learn.
“Having your own stuff to do your own things will help you grow as a person, too,” said the 32-year-old.
Surprisingly, Ramirez said he has been a self-taught carpenter for all of three months.
“Yeah! YouTube taught,” he smiled. “YouTube University!”
The YouTube University grad doesn’t have his own children yet. He built a desk as a favor. He built another. And another. And another. Neighbors donated money so Ramirez could build more.
“I think this COVID situation just changed our perspective,” he said.
Ramirez said he would sell the desks to parents who can afford it, but he already gave one away to a mom who needed it for her child, "and her response was just overwhelmingly amazing."
Ramirez said he will give away as many desks as he can afford. He set up a modest GoFundMe page for people to donate and pay for other children to get a happy place to do their school work.
“If they keep on donating, I will keep on building.”