“Hats off to Woodcraft’s loyal volunteers and store personnel.”
PARKERSBURG, W. VA. (PRWEB) February 10, 2023
Woodcraft volunteers turned a record number of pens in the 2022 Turn for Troops Turn-a-Thon: 16,455, the third highest total in 19 years. The only totals that exceed the 2022 number are: are 2009, 17,228, and 2018, 17,097. The 2021 total is 14,703. Pens will be given to active duty military personnel and those recovering from injuries.
“Hats off to Woodcraft’s loyal volunteers and store personnel for providing so many more one-of-a-kind thank-you pens for military personnel,” President and CEO Jack Bigger said. “They make it possible for Woodcraft to continue to provide military personnel with unique pens as a token of gratitude for their sacrifices.”
Woodcraft’s national Turn for Troops program dates back to the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and has produced 236,425 pens over 19 years. Woodcraft of Tucson, Arizona, contributed 28,500 pens overall, the top total among stores.
Why turn pens for the military?
“This is such a great opportunity for woodworkers to use their skills to honor active service members and have some fun while doing so,” Bigger said. Most Woodcraft stores offer classes in pen turning, and a video, “Pen Turning 101,” is available on woodcraft.com.
Notes like this one from a recipient deployed on the USS George H.W. Bush confirm this program’s value: “Thank you for your support…your support speaks volumes as a visible indication that our sacrifice is appreciated. For that we are grateful.”
Store Leaders – Volunteers at five Woodcraft stores turned the highest number of pens in 2022: Tucson, Arizona, 2,297; Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1,878; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1,748; Nashville, Tennessee, 1,301; and Boise, Idaho, 1,262.
Pen Turning Year Round – Some individuals and groups of woodturners turn pens throughout the year and either submit the pens to the nearest Woodcraft store or mail them to the Woodcraft corporate office if they are not near a store.
Members of The Tennessee Association of Woodturners (TAW), located in Nashville, turn pens year round that are included in the Nashville Woodcraft store’s annual total of pens turned for troops (1,301 this year). The TAW also held its own Turn for the Troops Turn IN on Nov. 5 that yielded 120 pens, and some members of the group also went that day to turn pens at the Nashville store’s turn-a-thon.
Other groups and their 2022 totals are:
•The Villages Woodworkers Club, located at a retirement village in Florida – 1,070
•New Mexico Woodturners from Albuquerque, New Mexico – 231.
•Old Country Guild of Woodturners from the Albany, New York, area – 70.
Pen Distribution – Although Woodcraft sponsors the Turn for Troops Turn-a-Thon around Veterans Day, pens are distributed year-round. In 2022, pens were shipped to individuals, military facilities, veterans’ organizations, and medical facilities in 22 states, to the USS George H. W. Bush, and to three other countries – Germany, Poland and Lithuania. Recipients represented all branches of the military.
Pen Requests – Woodcraft receives requests for pens throughout the year, and Woodcraft personnel at the corporate office check with military contacts routinely about where to send pens. Sometimes stores will suggest where to send pens, and sometimes military personnel will reach out to Woodcraft after reading publicity about the annual event.
To see photos from store turn-a-thons and more information about the 2022 Turn for Troops event, read the Woodcraft blog.
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