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Community Service


The Club is currently or recently involved with the following Communittee Service Projects.  We are always looking for ways to use our resources to benefit the community. If you know of a worthy project for us to get involved with, please Contact Us.

Festival of Lights went well

All went well and we had about 415 ornaments. After filling the tree we had a few left over and donated them to the festival to be sold at the festival Gift shop at the show. As we were decorating several people walked by working on their own trees or members of festival staff. Each one said ours was always their favorite tree. Even someone from the janitorial staff said the same things. Charlene Shellabarger quilted the tree skirt which without a doubt was beautiful. Thanks to all who helped, whether it was making ornaments, preparing them for the tree or working on decorating the tree.  (Ed. note: The tree fetched a donation just short of $10,000!)


Toys for Kids Project

Mel Slaybaugh and Ron Vander Meyden have headed up the Club’s “Toys for Kids” Community Service project. This several year project was wrapped up April 2018. We made simple wooden wheeled push/pull toys and Scroll Saw Cutouts for girls and boys. These were distributed through several local Non-Profit Charity Agencies. These Agencies arrange for toy recipients to participate by painting the toys they received. Through 2018 the Club distributed 9,873 toys. These have put a smile the faces of many kids.


Festival of Trees - November 2017

THANK YOU to everyone who contributed ornaments for the 2017 Festival  of Trees and Lights! Our stunning creation was placed right at the entrance and it is one of the first trees that everyone saw as they wander through all 83 decorated trees at the event (83 is a record!) With incredible participation from Mid Iowa Woodcarvers, Des Moines Woodturners and Des Moines Woodworkers we were able to fill our tree with over 500 beautiful ornaments and provide around 40 ornaments to be sold separately at the event!

Special recognition goes out to Brenda Rekenthaler who gathered ornaments and took them to the Woodsmith Store, and to Bob and Ginny Wheeler who spent an evening at the Voss house putting wires on each ornament and to all 10 people who took time out of their Sunday to help decorate our tree: Patty Hemphill, Darrell Brown, Bob and Ginny Wheeler, Dick and Pat Meuler, Terry and Mary Voss, and Wendell and Charlene Shellabarger. Great job folks! Happy Holidays!

                Festival of Trees 2017


 Cub Scout Woodworking Event - October 2018

On Saturday October 6th, members Eugene Harms, Frank Waterman and Jamie Spellman traveled to Camp Mitigwa, a Boy Scout camp 40 miles Northwest of Des Moines. There were various activities for Cub Scouts throughout the day. Eugene, Frank and Jamie helped with the woodworking event. Outside a covered tent was set up over 4 picnic tables. The cub scouts with their parents could pick from one of 3 projects to complete. The projects were a bird house, a tool tote and a bird feeder. The projects and tools were supplied by the camp. The event kicked off at 9AM and at 9:10 every available seat at the picnic tables was full and stayed that way until the event ended at 4 pm.

Eventually the supplies for the birdhouse and tool tote were exhausted but the supplies for the bird feeders held out. All parts were precut and the Cub Scouts with their parents had to figure out how the parts went together and nail them. At times there were three dozen or so hammers all pounding at the same time. The weather was a cool and a damp 50 degrees, but the Cub Scouts were universally excited about the projects and very patient. Many of them were holding a hammer for the first time. One small girl (Cub Scouts are both boys and girls) after successfully hammering a nail yelled “I LOVE TO BUILD THINGS!” The woodworking members returned safely to Des Moines even though at least one of the members had a thumb that was a little flatter then at the start of the day.



 Trip to El Salvador with Tools for Opportunity - November 2018
  El Salvador Group 2018

 A group of woodworkers, including Des Moines Woodworkers club members Nathan Kress and Gene Pedersen, traveled with Tools for Opportunity in November on their latest adventure to Central America. For three days we had a great time working alongside twenty Salvadoran woodworkers building tables and benches for a local school’s lunch room in western El Salvador. The rot-resistant tropical wood we used, called “conacaste”, should ensure the tables will last a very long time.

We then took a few of days to see some amazing sights in this beautiful country. We visited the workshops of some of the woodworkers Tools for Opportunity helped in past years. We toured a lumber yard to learn about the kinds of wood available there. The view of the crater of the active Santa Anna volcano was a highlight for everyone. We even travelled up a mountain standing in the bed of 4-wheel drive pickups (over roads impassable any other way, except mule) to tour a coffee plantation during the harvest.

Through it all, we got to experience the people and culture of El Salvador as few tourists do. Many thanks to Kreg Tool for the tools and support they provided for this trip. And thanks to the mayors of San Pedro Puxtla and Santa Catarina, and their staffs, for making sure the workshops went without a hitch.

After the project was wrapped up, we left the twenty woodworkers with the tools and the promise that they could keep the tools if they used them, along with their donated labor, to “pay it forward” by building other projects for their communities. It was a great trip! Let us know if you would like to join us for future trips like this one.