Woodcraft Turn-a-Thon: An Opportunity to Make “Thank-You” Pens for American Soldiers

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Woodcraft stores all around the United States host a Turn for Troops National Turn-a-Thon once a year as an opportunity for woodturners to make unique gifts for the men and women in the U.S. military.

These colorful pens were handcrafted by woodworkers around the United States as part of the Woodcraft Turn for Troops project that provides pens to American service personnel on active duty or in the U.S. for Christmas each year.

Woodcraft employees and woodturners join together in this annual event to make wood pens as tokens of gratitude for the sacrifices American service personnel have made and are making to keep this nation safe.

Woodturners will gather at Woodcraft stores all over the country on Veterans Day weekend (Nov. 10-11) for the ninth annual Turn for Troops National Turn-a-thon to make one-of-a-kind wood pens for American soldiers. Over 85,000 pens have been turned since the first telethon was held, including 12,558 in 2011.

Anyone interested in making a special “thank-you” pen for American service personnel on active duty or in rehabilitation facilities in the US is invited to participate. To get involved, contact a Woodcraft store near you. If you have never turned a pen but want to learn, check with the local store about instructions the day of the turn-a-thon or about pen making classes.

“Woodcraft employees and woodturners join together in this annual event to make wood pens as tokens of gratitude for the sacrifices American service personnel have made and are making to keep this nation safe,” said president Jody Garrett. “Woodcraft supports this effort by supplying pen kits, and many stores offer instruction in pen turning during the event. Although the Turn for Troops project focuses on the annual turn-a-thon, pen turning occurs before and after that event. So far this year 4,401 pens have been turned – a good start to surpass the 2011 total.”

Pen turning is one of the fastest and easiest woodworking skills to learn and enjoy. A first pen project takes about 30 to 45 minutes, but the time decreases after making several pens. To watch a video about pen making, click on this link: http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2005435/15700/Wall-Street-II-Ballpoint-Pen-Kit--Standard-Gold.aspx. To check out the Woodcraft Pen Designer, click on this link: http://www.woodcraft.com/projectconfigurator/projectlanding.aspx.

Turners are encouraged to include a handwritten note with each pen they turn, and responses from recipients of the pens confirm the project’s worth:

From Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan: “I just wanted to say thank you for the work, dedication and craftsmanship that went into making the pens for us. I received my pen a couple of days before Christmas, and it is great to know that Americans took time from their day to make and send us such a great gift. I never thought the words ‘Handmade in the USA’ would look so good! Thank you, Merry Christmas and God Bless America!”

From U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in Afghanistan in a request for pens: “Thank you again for your support; the troops are always impressed by the craftsmanship and unique designs of the pens.”

For more information about Woodcraft, please contact the store nearest you, visit http://www.woodcraft.com or call (800) 535-4482. To learn about Woodcraft franchise opportunities, call (800) 344-3348, visit http://www.woodcraftfranchise.com or email woodcraftfranchise(at)woodcraft(dot)com.

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Lori Milner
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