These handcrafted pens generated 2,080 meals for the hungry. Not bad for dead piece of wood.Pens on stand with case

This story began a bit over a year ago when my son, Isaac, gave me a woodworking lathe. I owned one 30 years ago, but after it flipped a tool through my workshop window, I sold it.

Fast-forward 30 years and Isaac whittling on me for six months to resume turning wood. I politely declined, insisting that I needed one more hobby like I needed a root canal.

He’s as stubborn as I am.

“It’ll be easy, Dad,” he said. “Here, let me show you how to turn a pen.”

It’s a year later and I’ve invested my children’s inheritance on woodturning equipment. I have watched so many instructional Youtube videos that my computer homepage default goes straight to the latest woodturning video.pen

I post my journey in woodturning on social media and one of my Facebook friends offered to give me a fantastic Siberian Elm he had cut down on his farm in Kansas. It was chocked full of burls; wart-like growths on trees that are exquisite for woodturning.

As I peered at the log in my trailer, I remembered that I challenge groups to whom I’m speaking about the topic of hunger with this: “No matter what you do in  your life, whether it is your vocation, avocation or recreation, create ways in which you can help end hunger.”img_6074

So I answered my own challenge with this question: How many people can this Burly Log feed?”

The first set of pens were auctioned off on eBay and ALL of the proceeds went to The Outreach Program to help fund meals for the hungry. The pens sold for $520.00 and, since Outreach meals are only .25 cents each, that pen set funded 2,080 nutritious meals.

How can you use your skills to help feed the hungry? Follow along with me on Facebook to see what The Burly Log will produce next to feed the hungry. If you’re an artisan and would like part of the wood to create something to be auctioned off on eBay will all of the proceeds going to Outreach, let me know; I can make that happen.

Also stay tuned; there’s a children’s book coming out about The Burly Log!