This is an open call for help to the Woodworking community and industry.
We are a group of veteran woodworkers promoting the craft to the veteran community. We are trying to reach vets who are looking for a hobby, who are considering a career change, or who may be suffering from the scars of war.
Those scars may take the shape of physical or psychological impairment, depression, substance abuse, guilt, or any number of worries. It is our hope that through these efforts, fellow veterans may find purpose and value in their own creative efforts. We want to build a community to support this vision, but we need your help.
This is what we need from you:
First, we need tools. We’d like to assemble tools chest and workbench packages that can be sent to VA facilities, woodworking schools, clubs, makerspaces, and/or retail store classrooms specifically for veteran educational use. It’s hard to teach basic woodworking without the basics.
Also, we’d like to put together a fully equipped woodshop for curriculum development, instructional video production and R&D for projects. In the future, we may consider industrial-scale “woodworking project pack” milling and packaging to disseminate starter kits to local woodworking clubs for veterans.
Second, we need lumber. In West Virginia alone, where I’m from, wood products are a $4 Billion dollar industry. We hope to partner with lumber companies, sheet good manufacturers, and independent sawmills to get the wood necessary to train our veteran participants and build our community.
Third, we need experts. We want to compile the best training we can into one place, to avoid the endless hours of web searches. We could probably collect random videos and articles from endless sources, but we’d like to know that the information we provide is cohesive, comprehensive, and clear. We want to reduce confusion as much as possible, so expert guidance will be critical to the process.
Fourth, we need volunteers. It’s going to take a lot of manpower to build benches, maintain tools, teach classes, and beat the pavement in search of vets who want the services we are willing to provide. We have veterans who are willing to help, but civilian volunteers will be critical to the process, too. In addition to manual labor, volunteer assistance in the forms of professional services, legal assistance, communications, web development, and promotion would be of great help.
Fifth, we would like some professional guidance from the medical and social services communities. We understand that there are significant risks to what we propose. There are also many situations where woodworking may not be an appropriate activity for an individual to pursue. We feel this is a subject where medical opinion and research should be strongly included. This conversation is essential for the success of our cause.
And finally, we need funds. We can do only as much as our hands and our wallets can afford, so it’s at this time that I ask the industries and organizations who will benefit the most from this movement to please consider giving generously to this most worthy of causes.
We ask that if you are willing to support this cause, then please consider adding your name to our Wall of Honor. By pledging your donation publicly, you stand beside us and inspire others to do the same. We ask that you submit your donation proposals through our contact form below.
All donations (monetary or equivalent in value) will be published publicly according to value
Major Partners: $100,000 and up ($200,000 in labor)
Charter Donors: $25,000 and up ($50,000 in labor)
Corporate Donors: $10,000 and up ($20,000 in labor)
Executive Donors: $5,000 and up ($10,000 in labor)
Benefactors: $1000 and up
Individual Donors: $100 and up
Upon fiscal sponsorship or 501c3 approval, all donations must be paid in full within 30 days to remain on the published supporters list. Donations in the form of labor will be accrued over the first calendar year of operation.
The calculation for labor donation proposals will be considered $50/hour for all positions. We know that to some of you, that’s a lot. For many of you, it’s a bargain.
Let’s call it a compromise.
And lest we scare away the humble among you, anonymous donations will be gladly accepted too.
Your participation, however you choose to help, is truly appreciated by all.