Local schools send old furniture overseas

By Bryan Richardson

The good fortune of two USD 383 schools in getting new furniture will soon be the good fortune of schools in Haiti and India as well.

This morning, about 50 volunteers loaded old chairs and desks from Manhattan High School East Campus and Marlatt Elementary onto onto trucks on behalf of Orphan Grain Train, a charitable arm of the Lutheran Church that collects clothing, medical equipment, school supplies and more to ship globally.

The schools donating the furniture will receive new furniture for the next school year.

Three filled semi-trucks will take about 1,000 chairs, desk and tables — 600 from MHS and 400 from Marlatt — to Norfolk, Neb., where they will be distributed. If three semis can’t fit all of the furniture, the rest will be taken to storage until it can be hauled to Norfolk.

“We are rescuing all the desks, chairs and tables from the landfill,” said Dan Murphy, who helped organize the event.

Murphy, owner of Mid- America Piano, is a volunteer for Orphan Grain Train. He said it would have been “a shame” for the furniture to go to a landfill.

Murphy and USD 383 Associate Supt. Bob Seymour spoke earlier this month about donating the old furniture.

Seymour said it’s a worthy cause. “It’s appropriate that the district is able to recycle this furniture to basically third-world countries for further use,” he said.

It was an all-day event. Loading began at 8 a.m. at MHS East Campus and at noon at Marlatt.

Murphy said it’s a good feeling when he can help people. He and three delivery workers spent three days in Joplin, Missouri, a year ago to aid in the tornado recovery effort.

“That’s why people are volunteering, especially to help the kids,” he said.

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