Business Donates Desks

Killeen business donates desks to Peebles' families
By: Todd Martin
The small storefront in north Killeen transformed into a neighborhood gathering and a celebration of generosity.
The Thursday afternoon before Good Friday and a three-day break coinciding with Easter, a group of families made their way to Connie’s Treasures for a special treat.
Business owner Jorge Lastiri donated 150 desks, enough for three students per pre-kindergarten through fourth grade class and five for each fifth-grade class in the school.
As family after family made their way into the small store on East Veterans Memorial Boulevard, the smile on Peebles Principal Carol Correa’s face grew wider.
“It’s great to partner with someone in the community who makes their donation so tangible,” the principal said. “He wants to provide our children a place to study at home. This is what I call ‘heart’ work. We’re grateful.”
Clearly enjoying the crowd, Lastiri said he grew up in a setting where he often did his schoolwork on the floor or at the kitchen table. He thinks having your own place to work makes a difference in the quality of the work.
“I want to put into the kids minds that someone cares for you,” he said. “Now, they can do their homework in their own space.”
Peebles teachers recommended students in their classes who could benefit from the desks and the school awarded vouchers to those families to claim the donated furniture.
Jorge and his wife Connie are regular community donors. He is a contractor who retrieves furniture from the U.S. Army and periodically likes to give away his surplus.
He also likes a party. As families gathered, they sat in chairs and ate the pizza and cupcakes the business owner provided. Eventually, he also pulled out some stuffed animals for the younger ones to pick out.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said Marjorie Jordan, who was able to receive a desk for her foster children. “He does this all the time.”
The Killeen resident said she comes into the small store regularly and knows that Lastiri is often generous. “Once or twice a year, he does something like this. This will be a great value to these families.”