Beads of Courage

David Bassham. Robson Ranch Woodworkers President

Residents join the Robson Ranch Woodworkers for many reasons: to work on a special project, to learn how to create something with wood or enjoy the camaraderie that’s always present at the woodshop. In addition, experienced members can provide hands-on lessons to beginners on projects for charity.

For the past three years, members of the Woodworkers Club have made boxes for participating hospitals in the Beads of Courage Program and for the last two years, have delivered boxes directly to Cook Children’s Hospital in Ft. Worth. Children with major medical problems, including cancer and heart problems, are awarded a bead for their courage after each treatment. Some of the children accumulate a vast number of beads. The children string the beads together for bracelets and necklaces and now they have special wooden boxes to keep them in.

In addition, the woodworkers have made memory boxes for the Pediatric Intensive Care Ward at Children’s Hospital, which are given to children with terminal illnesses. The boxes contain photos, crafts the kids may have made, a 3-D plaster cast of the child’s hand and other memorabilia.

Another opportunity to help came when the Denton Kiwanis Club asked for assistance in building 28 “Little Libraries,” an ongoing charitable project to construct small libraries and stock them with children’s books in underprivileged neighborhoods throughout Denton.

While providing something to local kids in need, these projects, especially the boxes, also provide good training for beginner woodworkers. The woodshop offers a series of classes to introduce the basic skills of woodworking. These lessons are followed by hands-on box-making classes.

While the boxes are relatively simple to make, they require the use of most of the basic woodworking tools. This gives our new members an opportunity to get more comfortable with the tools and techniques and perhaps give them the confidence to start projects of their own.

The Woodworkers are always happy to help with charitable projects while also providing a special learning opportunity to its members.