Des Moines Man Builds, Donates Chairs to Hospitalized Children

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DES MOINES, Iowa - Bob Johnson says it all started as a hobby, but now, the Des Moines man and CFO of Kenworth Trucks spends hours on end crafting children-sized tables and chairs for kids in the hospital.

"It can take between 10 and 12 hours to build a chair, but it's all worth it when you see the kid's and the family's reaction," he said.

It might not seem like much, but giving a kid in the hospital a small chair and table to call their own seems to do the trick when it comes to making an unfortunate circumstance a bit more bearable.

"I know of one kid who is very possessive of his chair," he said. "His mom told me another kid came over and tried to sit in it, and he was very protective. They really take ownership of these things."

So far, Johnson has built and donated 20 chairs and tables to kids and their families in Des Moines. Saturday, he donated 12 to patients at Blank Children's Hospital. Even with all that time spent, he says he wishes he could do more.

"I wish we could expand it to more than what we do, but I only have so much free time," he said.

But for the kids and their families, the thought and kindness attached to each donation is more than enough.

"It'll be nice to look at the table and chair as he grows up, as it sits in our house, and kind of remind us of a not-so great time that was not so bad, after all," said Michaela Rose, a parent of a hospitalized child.

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