Help Wanted/Needed: Wilmington

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sapwood

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Roger
Long but worthy post!

Many of you have seen posts by "frankson" mentioning an award winning program in Wilmington called Kids Making It. Read this thread and then check out their website www.kidsmakingit.org. Over the months I've had contact with Jeff (aka frankson) who is a volunteer and also the director of the program, Jimmy Pierce. KMI is a wonderfully conceived program that empowers "at risk kids" by teaching them woodworking skills. Again, for a fuller explanation of what KMI does, please check the website. However, Jimmy and Jeff and gave me permission to quote a couple of their emails. I'm truly impressed by their energy and enthusiasm.

A few snippets include:
Jimmy Pierce here, with the KMI program in Wilmington. Jeff told me today that you were down last weekend and missed us. . . I dearly wish we could be open on weekends, but for now that is a hit or miss thing - my afterschool classes end 6 - 6:30, and I always have a crowd of kids I'm taking home in my truck, so not home till later. . . Although I put in a lot of hours, and always feel like I'm playing catch up on every aspect of what we're trying to do (the woodworking, shop renovations work, fundraising, pr work, etc.), I absolutely love what I do, and hope I can somehow keep it going for as long as I can see. I'll start tomorrow morning with a 9-12 class with a group of 16-24 year old high-school dropouts who are learning home construction skills (we're taking them through an intro tutorial of our basic woodworking shop tools, and they're building Adirondack chairs for themselves to practice their tool skills, gain confidence, self-esteem, etc.). . . They will start building a house in February. (As a sad aside, one of the young men who was scheduled to start with me yesterday, 21 years old, was shot dead by another guy over the weekend. This is the kind of life we're trying to help these kids to move away from.) After a quick sandwich at noon, I'll start another class with a group of teenagers from our Juvenile Day Treatment Center (kids who are youth offenders, or long-term school suspended). After a bit of a break, I'll start up again at 4:00 with my afterschool class, of kids drawn from our 'housing project' neighborhoods, section 8 housing, and families with issues of domestic violence or substance abuse. Home by 7 or so - these are full days, but it's very fullfilling. . . We've been scrambling to get our holiday orders out the door - too many projects promised for too many people, + a last minute donation of one of our go-carts to a Katrina family here.

Wanting to make a contribution to KMI I asked Jimmy and Jeff what they needed and offered to post it, hoping that some NCWoodworkers (including commercial) would be willing to help.

Responses from Jimmy and Jeff:
Our most immediate need is for a better table saw. The Juvenile Day Treatment Program was all set to get us a unisaw last year, but their funding fell through. I wrote a grant for a local foundation and got about $1000 for equipment, which we plan to use for a better saw (we have the smallest, cheapest Delta out there). I've been working on the local Delta rep for over a year, and we finally have a deal to get a stripped down, no-fence unisaw for our $1000. Our local tool store (Tools Plus) is willing to kick in a bisemeyer fence they have laying around. All would seem well, except that SawStop now has their saw on the market, and we think that we would be remiss not to get that saw instead. . . My friend who teaches construction skills to the inmates at our local prison tells me he's had 4 or 5 table saw accidents in the 9 years he's been there - they have a Sawstop saw ordered - and he assures me (accurately, I expect) that it's only a matter of time before it could happen to us. For three reasons - first and foremost, the potential injury to one of our kids, and the fact that we could practically eliminate the danger with the Sawstop saw; the liability exposure of having the sawstop on the market and not having it in the shop (we carry a million in coverage, but nonetheless), and the bad PR that would result if one our kids were to get hurt - it seems a no-brainer to go for the Sawstop. So, over a month ago I wrote to the Sawstop people, sent a package full of photos, our brochure, our national and regional awards, press coverage, etc. - and asking if they could help us with a saw, - but no response so far. I'm about ready to call them and make a pitch over the phone. Their saw is $2700 - a very expensive saw, but a small price to pay for peace of mind, etc. - and a one time expense for sure.

Other than that, we also need dust collection. We wrote and got another small grant for dust collection, but haven't bought anything yet. We have a small collector for our sanding room, but nothing for our main shop (tablesaw, jointer, slide compound miter saw, bandsaw, lathe, router table), and need to figure out what we should get, and what piping, hoods, etc. we need.

And, we can always use wood. We buy most everything retail from Lowes, and HD, and beg for hardwood scraps for the lathe. Speaking of the lathe, we could use another (the kids love the lathe - we just sold our first bowl today made by a girl out of the 'projects' - she was happy!)

The other area I thought of for possible help will be in our re-designed and enlarged RETAIL space. . .for background: a couple of months ago, with the assistance of additional volunteers, we took on Jimmy's vision for a total re-design of our space into separate areas for;
-tool shop,
-sanding/planing room,
-finishing/painting room,
-office and
-enlarged RETAIL space.
We've completed most of the physical re-design except for the re-location of our office space and the enlargement of our RETAIL space. Once the walls are up, we'll tackle plans to make the RETAIL space more functional in layout and appealing to shoppers. This will afford our KIDS the chance to further develop their entrepreneurial and people skills.


OK, anyone besides me want to help? I'll start by putting a $100 check in the mail. The donation form can be printed from website. I will also be happy to deliver anything that will fit in my pickup. 'Course, visiting Wilmington is always fun and only takes about two hours from RTP!

Why Not?
Sapwood
 

sapwood

New User
Roger
The silence is deafening :eusa_shhh

Okaayyy, it was a little windy, but I was enthused about this organization--besides they are NC woodworkers :lol:

So I'll delete the post tonite or tomorrow. However, my commitment remains and if anyone else decides to contribute, PM me or frankson.

Why Not?
Sapwood
 

woodguy1975

New User
John
Come on guys. I know it is after the holidays and everyone's wallet is a little on the light side. I'll send $20. Just PM me the info Sapwood.

John
 

sapwood

New User
Roger
WG,
You are a wise and generous man. If you'd like to see the joyful faces of KMI woodworkers take a quick peek at projects!

Sapwood
 

SteveColes

Steve
Staff member
Corporate Member
Why would you want to delete the post???? This is a valid post in more ways than one
 

DaveO

New User
DaveO
Yea, don't delete the post, it must have taken you several hours to type it all out:lol: It sound like a very great program and worthy cause. I have to check the cash flow situation this weekend and if there is some extra I'll send it that way. The holidays always tap me out. To everyone that contributed or will, that is a very thoughtful and kind act and it is exactly what I expect to find from the bunch here at ncww'er.

Dave (to poor to pay attention):)
 

Splinter

New User
Dolan Brown
Sounds like a great program. I have 6 or 7 sections of dust collector pipe that I had remaining when I added dust collection in my shop. The company double shipped my order by mistake. :lol: I live about 50 miles from Wilmington. If they can use the pipe tell me (PM) how to contact them and I can take the pipe on a trip to Wilmington.

Dolan
 

sapwood

New User
Roger
Done and did Doland :mrgreen:

PM is on the way to hook you up with Jeff (aka frankson) in Wilmington. I know he'll be glad to hear from you, and probably offer a shop tour. :cool:

Thanks,
Sapwood
 

Splinter

New User
Dolan Brown
My wife and I visited the Kids Making It site today and delivered the 6 sections of 4" x 5' spiral DC pipe that I promised them. Jimmy Pierce (KMI Director) and Jeff (aka Frankson) showed us around the shop and explained what they are doing to help these "at risk" kids. I posted some photos under my album labeled Kids Making It. Check out their web site at www.kidsmakingit.org and the first post in this thread for more information. I believe this is a great program and as fellow NC woodworkers we should try and help them. They are always struggling for funds to operate. They are in desperate need for a new tablesaw among other things.
 

sapwood

New User
Roger
Dolan,

You have to admire Jimmy and Jeff for the challenge they have taken on. Thanks for the donation and the pixs look great. As a result of your post, I've received additional PMs promising financial donations. :icon_thum

Sapwood
 
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