Do Good With Wood™ Award
About the Minwax® Do Good with Wood™ Award
The award program celebrates the spirit of volunteering for the betterment of the community. Past winners include a retiree who builds wooden toys for sick and abused children and high school carpentry program students that built an entire new house for a low-income family.
Minwax® Announces 2015 Do Good With Wood™ Award Recipients
Hope Hall was awarded first prize from Minwax® to honor their contributions to their community by teaching and using woodworking skills to promote personal development and academic achievement with their students.
2015 Do Good With Wood™ Award Winner
First Prize Award:
Hope Hall, Rochester, NY
Second Prize Award:
First Prize Award:
Minwax®, the leading manufacturer of wood finishing and wood care products, has announced Hope Hall as the First Prize winner of the 2015 Do Good With Wood™ Award program. The award is being presented to honor their contributions to the community by teaching and using woodworking skills to promote personal development and academic achievement with their students.
Established in 1994, Hope Hall provides an opportunity for "at-risk" or "educationally stranded" children to become successful lifelong learners. Serving students in grades 3 through 12 from 19 school districts in the Greater Rochester Area, Hope Hall's nurturing, non-threatening, creative atmosphere encourages students to take risks in learning and helps them reverse the cycle of academic failure. Hope Hall's collaborative approach to learning connects faculty, staff and families as team members in a community of learning. Students previously considered to be educationally "at-risk" experience academic success, not only at Hope Hall, but also in high school and beyond.
"We commend your organization for the passion, tireless hours, and hard work that you devote to these students to help create a brighter future for them. Your motto ‘all students are capable of success in the classroom’ says it all" said Jacquelyn Ferrara , Director of Marketing of Minwax® and Formby's®. "You greatly influence their lives and provide them with skill sets that will help with their future careers and beyond. You have created exciting and challenging experiences for your students and introduced them to a variety of positive role models."
Second Prize Award
The 2015 Do Good With Wood™ second prize winner, Shaun Flanagan, was awarded a cash prize and a supply of Minwax® products for his unique and creative woodworking projects that have greatly impacted the Charlotte County area. Shaun uses reclaimed for his projects, which range from intricately carved items, tables to display cremation urns and building furniture for churches ravaged by Hurricane Charlie.
First Prize Award:
STOKED Mentoring, Brooklyn NY
Second Prize Award:
Central Minnesota Woodcarvers Association, Milaca, MN
First Prize Award:
Minwax®, the leading manufacturer of wood finishing and wood care products, has announced STOKED Mentoring, Inc. as the First Prize winner of the 2014 Do Good With Wood™ Award program. The award is being presented to honor the volunteers’ contributions to their community by using their woodworking and wood finishing skills to promote personal development, academic achievement and healthy living to under-served youth through action sports culture.
Founded in 2005 in New York City, STOKED Mentoring, Inc., serves more than 3,500 kids in both New York and Los Angeles. Throughout a child’s high school career, STOKED uses woodworking as an essential component to help them grow and learn. One primary part of the program is for beginning students to make wooden skateboard decks by hand. This helps to enhance their communication, teamwork, project planning and motor skills, as well as their patience and perseverance. Every year, 250 skateboards are handmade by these students.
"We are overjoyed and proud to acknowledge the members of STOKED Mentoring, Inc. for their dedication to the students jthey touch year after year," said Janet Krakow, Vice President, marketing, Sherwin-Williams Diversified Brands. "We applaud STOKED for the tireless hours, hard work and passion that they give to woodworking and these young people in hopes of paving a brighter future. Their work demonstrates the heart of the Minwax® Do Good With Wood™ Award Program."
Second Prize Award
The 2014 Do Good With Wood™ Second Prize Winner, the Central Minnesota Woodcarvers Association, was awarded a $2,000 cash prize and a supply of Minwax® products for their incredible work and unique woodworking projects that have greatly impacted and enhanced the greater St. Cloud area. Their projects, which range from honor canes for veterans to comfort crosses to help elderly patients during their final days, have come to life thanks to the more than forty club members whose efforts have personally impacted Purple Heart veterans, patients and families at the CentraCare Health Hospice, Central Minnesota.
2013 Grand Prize Winner:
The Western New York Woodturners, Cheektowaga, NY
Minwax®, the leading manufacturer of wood finishing and wood care products, has selected the The Western New York Woodturners, as the First Prize winner of the 2013 Do Good With Wood™ Award program. The award is being presented to honor program volunteers’ contributions to their community by using their woodworking skills to make toys and other small wooden items to sell at the annual Erie County Fair, to benefit the upstate Make-A-Wish foundation chapter.
Each year, more than 90 volunteers come together, some building and staining and others manning the booth at the 12-day fair, to make this effort a success. Since 2006, The Western New York Woodturners have coordinated this local group of wood turners who joined forces to build all of the items for sale. Last summer, the group raised more than $20,000 to fulfill two wishes for sick children from their area. Since coming together, they have raised more than $115,000. Make-A-Wish is fortunate to have the Woodturners as a local partner.
The Minwax® Do Good With Wood™ Award is a national program that awards financial grants and products to encourage community service through working with wood. As the 2013 Do Good With Wood™ Award First Prize winners, the Western New York Woodturners receive a $5,000 cash grant, a supply of Minwax® products, and a private wood finishing workshop with renowned do-it-yourself expert and author Bruce Johnson.
"We are proud to recognize the members of the Western New York Woodturners for their true craftsmanship and selfless community service in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation," notes Janet Krakow, vice president, marketing, Sherwin-Williams Wood Care Products. "Their long volunteer hours and passion for wood working, truly reflect the spirit of the Minwax® Do Good With Wood Award. And we' re delighted to recognize the work of Nicole Curtis, who is teaching and inspiring a new generation of civic minded do it yourselfers. All the winners serve as an inspiration to others and underscores how working with wood — is even more fulfilling when done for the good of others."
2012 Grand Prize Winner:
Minneapolis Public Schools Assistive Technology Center Volunteer Program
Minwax®, the leading manufacturer of wood finishing and wood care products, has selected the Minneapolis Public Schools Assistive Technology Center Volunteer Program, as the First Prize winner of the 2012 Do Good With Wood Award program. The award is being presented to honor program volunteers’ contributions to their community by using their woodworking skills to design and fabricate equipment for special needs students. Since 1985, program volunteers have logged more than 30,000 hours and saved the school district more than a half-million dollars, by building, largely out of wood, equipment that would cost much more if purchased commercially. And the volunteers’ goodwill doesn’t stay in Minneapolis, as they share their proven designs with other organizations across their state, throughout the country, and even internationally. This equipment ranges from “standers” that allow students to improve leg strength and trunk control, to an adapted bowling ramp that allows a wheelchair-bound student to participate in a Special Olympics bowling league.
The Minwax® Do Good With Wood Award, formerly known as the Community Craftsman Award, is a national program that recognizes individuals and groups that promote community improvement through working with wood and awards them financial grants and products to encourage continued community service. As the 2012 Do Good With Wood Award First Prize winner, the Minneapolis Public Schools Assistive Technology Center Volunteer Program receives a $5,000 cash grant, a supply of Minwax® products, and a private wood finishing workshop with renowned do-it-yourself expert and author Bruce Johnson.
“We are proud to recognize the members of the Minneapolis Public Schools Assistive Technology Center Volunteer Program for their true craftsmanship and their selfless community service in support of the Special Education Services students of Minneapolis Public Schools,” notes Janet Krakow, Vice President, Marketing, Sherwin-Williams Wood Care Products. “Their long volunteer hours, creative solutions, and well-made equipment reflect the true spirit of the Minwax® Do Good With Wood Award. It also serves as inspiration to others and underscores how working with wood—a gratifying activity in itself—is all the more fulfilling when done for the good of others.”
2011 Grand Prize Winner:
Michigan Woodworkers’ Guild
Michigan Woodworkers’ Guild members have built a doll-sized MRI machine, which allows children to put their dolls through the MRI process, promoting a better understanding of the process and alleviating their stress about undergoing their own procedure. They construct small wooden boxes to hold patients’ personal possessions during their hospitalization, and they build “memory boxes” that the hospital uses to return the possessions of children who have lost their fight with illness or injury. Another special project done by members was to make the waiting room more kid-friendly by creating 25 circus-themed picture frames that hold a variety of childrens’ art class pictures, plus a magazine and book rack that is easily accessible to children of every size. Every year, guild members build and donate hundreds of wooden toys to ensure that all children hospitalized or enduring outpatient care over the holidays gets a toy to keep. And members also build a variety of large toys that are donated for fundraisers – rocking airplanes, elaborate rocking horses, and pedal-powered airplanes.
2010 Grand Prize Award Winner: Bossier KIDS, Inc.
The volunteers at Bossier KIDS, Inc., a foster care agency in Bossier City, LA, have built sturdy beds for the foster children – who in some cases have had to leave their homes with few personal belongings – to have a safe, snug place to sleep. By designing and building these beds, they saved the nonprofit agency precious funds, freeing up resources to support the foster children in other ways.
The award was made possible through the contributions of three generous woodworkers – Leon Freeman, Joe McDaniel and Jim Stoval, affectionately known around the agency as the “Crafty Old Men.”
2009 Grand Prize Award Winner: Lancaster High School Carpentry Program
The Lancaster High School Carpentry Program has a long history of projects completed for the community. Just some of them include building cat shelters for local organization Animal Rescue Friends, creating doghouses and building sheds for the Fairfield Humane Society, and participating in a local Habitat for Humanity project house by doing trim carpentry.
Building on past projects in which the students of the carpentry program have enriched their community, the group is being specially recognized this year for building dozens of wooden rocking toys—horses, snails, airplanes and motorcycles—for children at The Lighthouse, a local shelter for victims of domestic abuse.
2008 Grand Prize Award Winner: Greenville Woodworkers Guild
Living up to the guild’s motto of “Giving Through Fellowship,” the members of the guild have enriched their community with a wealth of charitable projects, including considerable woodworking done on behalf of Greenville’s Meyer Center for Special Needs Children. The Greenville Woodworkers Guild continues to build on a long history of projects completed for the Meyer Center—including special furniture built for disabled children, as well as stools, stairs, storage “cubbies” and physical training equipment.
Projects for 2008 included more than 4,000 volunteer hours building office cabinetry for the center’s expansion, and additional physical therapy equipment for the facility. For the holiday season, participants in the guild’s toy-building classes constructed and donated more than 300 wooden toys to the Meyer Center and other area charitable organizations. Individual guild members also produced many artistic pieces, which were then donated to the center for its annual silent auction fundraiser.
2007 Winner: Hardin County High School Trade & Industry Carpentry Program
The entire community rallied in support of Jason Hunt and Rodney Strong, the vocational school instructors, who spearheaded the project and their students in the carpentry class. The students, Hunt said, “did all the work.” A local community bank donated the land for the students to build on and set up an interest-free construction loan so that the house could be built at no cost to the students. Local lumber companies helped by donating building materials and supplies or providing materials at a reduced cost. The program also received a SkillsUSA and Lowe’s grant, which helped fund a mobile tool unit the students used to haul materials to and from the job site.
Construction of the house has been completed now—all the exterior siding and roofing is done and the interior finishing and construction of cabinets, etc., will be completed in the coming school year. Interest in the project has been so great that enrollment in the residential carpentry class is at an all-time high and many graduating students are now hoping to apply their newly acquired skills to a job in the construction industry.
2006 Winner: Greater West Town Community Development Project – Chicago, IL
Applicants for this program come from Chicago neighborhoods where upwards of 50% of adults have no high school education, over 30% of people are below the poverty level, and where more than 20% of working age adults are unemployed. The Woodworkers Training Program began its first class in March 1993 and the program addresses the urgent need of disadvantaged residents—such as Empowerment Zone residents, ex-offenders, long-term welfare recipients, and women seeking non-traditional careers—for technical skills training leading to careers offering decent wages, stable employment, and growth potential. At the same time, the program addresses the needs of a strategic local industry to develop the skilled and motivated workforce it requires.
The full-time course teaches these low-income residents math and measuring, language skills and job readiness in the context of woodworking. After 3 months and 450 hours of training the staff works with the students to place them in entry-level positions in the woodworking industry. The program at Greater West Town achieves its success through the commitment and determination of trainees, who undergo rigorous screening to enter the program and must meet high standards (without pay) during the training. The four woodworkers on staff, two of whom are graduates of the program, work tirelessly with enrollees to teach them everything they need to know before they help students find an entry-level position in the industry. Once on the job, the employer, employee and trainers are in constant communication to assure a smooth transition.
Since 1993, the Woodworkers Training Program has seen 530 students graduate from the program. Today, a number of local woodworking firms credit the program for their manufacturing success; others cite the program as an important factor in the decisions to remain and expand operations in the area.
2005 Winner: Shoreham-Wading River High School’s Industrial Arts and Technology Program
Industrial Arts instructor David Driscoll recommended his students for the award based on their community service project– the Barn Owl Conservation Project. Students designed and built 35 wooden barn owl nests in hopes of helping this endangered species repopulate in their local farmland community. This successful project not only benefited the community but also allowed the students to put their woodworking and technology skills to work while learning about the environment.
The Shoreham-Wading River students have also tackled other community projects including restoring a beloved landmark sign, creating toy trains for the Long Island Rail Road Museum and restoring a gazebo on school grounds. The students are also planning another long-term woodworking project to honor a classmate, Matt Baisley, who died of bone cancer in 2004. They plan to handcraft wooden toys and donate them to a children’s research and cancer hospital in Matt Baisley’s name.
“It is always gratifying seeing students involved in woodworking at an early age. The Shoreham-Wading River High School students deserve this honor and our congratulations for setting a great example on how important it is for all of us to give back to our communities,” says Dominick Pisciotta, senior vice president of marketing Sherwin-Williams Wood Care Products.
2004 Winner: Salem High School Woods Technology Program of Salem, Ohio
Ken Peters, Salem Woods Technology Instructor, sparked his students’ interest in community involvement. In 2004, the class worked on two community projects and 43 in-house school repair projects. They began their efforts with a food collection drive for which they built 5-foot sailboats that they raffled in exchange for food donations, gathering over 10,000 food items in the process. In a second fundraiser, the students helped the local Lion’s Club by building a deluxe playhouse and raffling it off with the proceeds benefiting those in need of eye care.
The woods technology class also participated in a mentoring program with the special needs classes at Salem High. Each woods technology student partnered with a special needs student to build a paddleboat. The finished boats were raced in the Salem High Paddle Boat Regatta held in the school wood shop. Each special needs student received a trophy for participating and was able to keep the boat that they made with their woods technology partner. The project went beyond teaching woodworking skills, promoting kindness and sensitivity among all students.
“The Salem High program encourages the development of confidence and self-esteem which are necessary qualities to become successful in life,” says Dominick Pisciotta, vice president of marketing, Sherwin-Williams Wood Care Group. “Not only are the students learning valuable woodworking skills, but they are learning to put others first and help their community.”
2003 Winner: Ovid-Elsie High School Industrial Arts
Ovid-Elsie program director Everett Smith instills skills and confidence in his students, and teaches them self-reliance by assigning challenging woodworking projects. To keep the students interested, he allows them to pick their own projects, which usually include sporting equipment, such as bows and arrows, canoes and paddles.
The students also serve as mentors and teachers, giving back to the community and passing along their skills. During the holidays, they support local charities by making toys for needy children. Over the years, Ovid-Elsie High School’s Industrial Arts Program has continued to expand its reach throughout Michigan. Students from other districts are able to visit and participate in woodworking workshops, gaining valuable skills and sharing their pride of craftsmanship.
According to Everett Smith, “One of the reasons why this program has been so successful is the quality of the students themselves. They take pride in what they’re working on.” After graduation, several of students usually find employment in the industrial arts field, continuing to hone their woodworking skills and becoming successful woodworkers.
2002 Winner: Kids Making It
Kids Making It is an after school and summer camp woodworking experience, teaching basic woodworking skills to youth living in Wilmington Housing Authority neighborhoods and Level II Youth Offenders. Developed by Jimmy Pierce, the program director, in collaboration with the Wilmington Housing Authority, the program not only teaches woodworking skills, but also instills positive values and life skills to help prevent juvenile crime in public housing. Successful from the onset, the program appeals to youth aged 8 to 15 years old because it offers young people a chance to have fun while learning a new skill.
“It’s a pleasure to recognize Jimmy Pierce and the contributions that he has made to the community on behalf of the ‘Kids Making It’ Woodworking Program. When young people are clamoring to get into your workshop you have to be doing something very exciting,” said Dominick Pisciotta, Vice President Marketing, Minwax®. “Kids Making It comprises the essence of the Do Good With Wood Award.”
2001 Winner: Woodworkers For Children Charity
Woodworkers for Children Charity (WCC), located in Laytonsville, MD, donates the toys it crafts to other charitable organizations in the Washington DC area that serve at-risk children. The Charity provides materials, plans and instructions to its volunteers, who produce about 200 wooden toys a month in their own wood shops.
2000 Winner: The Woodworkers’ Guild of Georgia
The Woodworkers’ Guild of Georgia, seen here working on projects with boys from the Mountain Top Boys’ Home. Since it was founded in 1980, the Mountain Top Boys’ Home has provided education and social nurturing to boys ages 14 thru 17 that have been adjudicated by the courts. In 2000, a wood shop was completed with updated equipment, and an outstanding vocational education program was installed.