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HUNTINGTON PARK (KABC) -- With students learning from home, there was a rush to buy desks. But many families can't afford them, or they simply don't have the space in their home for a full remote learning set-up.

That's where Hood Renovationz in Huntington Park comes in. It's wood and nails and a lot of work, but one small desk can change people's lives.



Daisy Figueroa is now a law student at Boston University. She remembers growing up and her family of five all sleeping in one room. She recently renovated her parent's room and put it on Instagram. She got thousands of responses.

"We had a lot of people saying, 'Hey, that was us or like Hey, that was me'. And we realized it was a much more interest, and there was a much bigger need than we initially thought," said Figueroa.

She and her friends started Hood Renovationz. The idea is to build innovative space-saving desks. With the pandemic, Figueroa knows many families are struggling to give students adequate space for schooling.

"They look like bookcases once they're not in use, but it creates sort of a space for students to work in, which I think is very needed," said Figueroa.

They got hundreds of requests for their desks. They picked ten to build for free. This is the first home where one is being installed.

Joscelyn Paniagua is a freshman at Cal State Long Beach studying criminology. She says it's been difficult but now she has space to learn.

"It even comes with a light and we just have one bedroom for my mom and I so that's going to help because sometime she complains how I don't turn off the light but I'm doing homework so we're gonna be able to turn off the light from the room and I'll be a little light on so I can still do my homework," said Paniagua.

Hood Renovationz wants to do more. They set up a GoFund me page and people all over the country want to help.

"A lot of people donated and even without us asking, were giving us stuff and donate money and even tools and, and we're like, you know, we want to find more projects to do," said Joseph Rios of Hood Renovationz.

"Our goal would be to do as many as we possibly can. Even now with like 10 desks giveaway, we know that's like a drop in the bucket," said Francisco Millar of Hood Renovationz.

A drop at a time, and a desk at a time, to help students thrive.

News Source: abc7.com

Tags: education education back to school coronavirus california school covid 19 pandemic

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Apple Valley man released from hospital after he and 9 others contracted COVID at family backyard BBQ in Fontana

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- It was a cheerful farewell that nearly didn't happen.

Randy Smith of Apple Valley was one of 10 family members that contracted the novel coronavirus at a family barbecue - and was so close to death that his wife was told by doctors to say her goodbyes.


Now Randy Smith is heading home after three months in the hospital.

"Thank God," he said. "It was life and death, and I made it out this side."

It's been a long road to get here. Randy Smith had a litany of problems when he was diagnosed in June.

"I had collapsed lungs, pneumonia," he recalled. "I had a stroke."

Dr. Nicole Hanrahan, medical director of Encompass Health Rehab hospital of Murrieta, added that Smith also developed "acute respiratory failure, required two chest tubes and the help of a tracheostomy for breathing."


And he had to relearn how to walk, talk and eat.

When things were at their worst, the family believes that prayer saved his life.

"God did a miracle and healed me overnight," Smith said.

Now, he and the rest of his family who survived, four of whom were hospitalized, are imploring others to not follow their path.

"Wearing a mask isn't a joke," said Riley McGuigan, one of 10 family members who contracted the coronavirus at the barbecue. "People say, 'I'm not gonna wear my mask, it's just OK I'm not gonna get COVD.' it's not a joke. You can die from this. people are dying from it."


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Doctors at CHOC Children's in Orange County say 14-year-old Agustina Rojas was the sickest COVID-19 patient they've ever had. The Placentia teen was near death twice, but she beat the virus and is now at home after spending 57 days in the ICU.



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