Woodworkers are a generous bunch

When you think about generous people, the first group of people that cross your mind might not be woodworkers.

Think about it.  We want tools for our shops.  We want prized timbers so we can build killer projects. And we relish each commissioned job that comes into our shop – a chance to buy even more new tools!

And yet…

My first group woodworking project happened when Gail O’Rourke invited me to the American Sycamore Woodworkers Retreat for the charity Build-A-Thon to benefit the American Cancer Society. Imagine my excitement. Flying halfway across the country to go to a professional workshop with woodworkers more immensely talented than me, each working toward a common goal.

I went back for the next two Build-A-Thons over the next two years, the last one benefiting Habitat for Humanity. Each time, the experience was uplifting, instructional and thoroughly enjoyable.

Since I started writing this blog, I have seen many other heart-warming stories brought to life by woodworkers  A nationwide effort to turn pens for service men and women to write home with.  A group of retirees who build instructional toys for teachers in the local school district.  An agency that helps disabled American veterans find employment in a woodworking-related field.

The more I see, the more I come to realize that woodworkers are really a generous bunch of folks.

This generosity now continues with Marc Spagnuolo, the Wood Whisperer. After helping Wood Whisperer guild member Duane Moore with a steamer trunk project, Marc discovered that Duane had received some troubling news about his cancer treatment.

To do just a little bit to help Duane, Marc has launched Woodworkers Fighting Cancer.  This is the first Wood Whisperer Guild Build – a small Shaker Table – and is donating $5 from his own pocket to the American Cancer Society for each Guild member who builds the project and sends him a picture.

Since he first rolled out the idea, others have offered donations toward the cause.  Marc keeps an up-to-date contribution ticker on his website, and as of this posting, he has raised more than $1,200 for the cause. Eagle America, Festool, Rockler, WoodWerks and Bell Forest Products have all lent their corporate support toward this effort, as have many individuals who visit his site. For those who don’t want to participate in the build or don’t want to join the guild, Marc has included a donation button.

Looking at an effort like this, I can’t help but feel as if woodworkers are giving from deep in their hearts.

And, I should also stop being surprised by this generosity… it seems to be the norm among woodworkers.

8 thoughts on “Woodworkers are a generous bunch”

  1. Thanks for the write up Tom! You da man!

    You know it always inspired me when I saw these group charity efforts on the forums and even in my local woodworking association. And you are right. Woodworkers can be some of the most selfless people around! I am proud to be a member of this community!

  2. Like I wrote in the blog post… I have got to stop being surprised at how generous woodworkers are… this really does seem to be normal behavior for woodworking communities… Goodonya, Marc.

  3. Tom, thanks for sharing this information, I will definitely check it out. You have always thought of creative ways to give back and I commend you for that. The woodworking community is wonderful and I know that they will rise to the challenge.

    I am not sure that I can squeeze in another project, but I am sure that I can open my pocketbook to make a donation.

    As I am a woodworker who has lost family (my mother) to cancer, thank you for contributing to the American Cancer Society.

  4. Marc and Tom, I would be happy to host a build a thon in the future, if you fly out, I will supply the materials…what do ya say?

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