Veteran Woodworks is a startup nonprofit organization helping our fellow vets heal from the scars of war through woodworking. We plan to provide tools, training, and scholarships to promote the craft as a supplement to medical treatment and and other services, providing an expressive outlet and a place to focus attention. We hope to inspire veterans to engage in woodworking as a positive alternative to the scourges of substance abuse, depression, and suicide within the veteran community. Veteran Woodworks, Inc. is applying for 501c3 tax-exempt status, is a vet-operated nonprofit organization, and is a collaborative effort between the tool and wood industries, veterans, and the woodworking community.
The Back Story
Late one evening in August 2015, when I was tuning a hand plane in my garage, I realized that I’d been working on that old Stanley for about four hours. I had no idea where that time went, but it was a pleasant distraction from the old memories haunting me from my days in the military… and I never even saw combat! It dawned on me that if such a profoundly therapeutic effect could be obtained for a guy who spent the war staring at a screen, imagine how big an impact this craft could have in helping those men and women on the front line? So, I started searching around for other vets who found solace in their workshops.
It turns out, there are many… but it’s almost a guarded secret. Veterans don’t tend to talk openly about their experience in war, and woodworkers tend to hide in their shops to escape excessive communication. Finding veteran woodworkers who are willing to share both stories is like finding a polka-dotted unicorn in your morning coffee. Well, maybe not that hard… it took a while, but we found a handful. Together, we’d like to share those stories with the world, with the hope that our collective testimony can inspire others to explore this healing craft.
Our Big Break
Our organization launch is a little unorthodox. We’re making a movie to tell this story, frame the problem, and show the world how we plan to help. In an era when small and large screens dominate most home entertainment, we feel that a movie is the absolute best way to present our mission to the world. Before the film launches, though, we want to have a network of woodworkers, courses, tools, and funding ready to support interested veterans.
When the nonprofit is established, instructors are trained, and a plan is in place, we’re distributing the film everywhere that will carry it, and we want you to give it away, too. The more people who know about this mission, the more veterans we can reach. And there are a lot of veterans to reach!
It’s a simple concept, but a big idea. Will you help us? Please consider joining this movement.