Our lives are often focused on making a living and taking care of our family. Eventually, most recognize the need to give back to the community. How can woodworkers give back to the community and focus that effort on the kids, our future? In 2006, Barbara Raymond-LaPrease, president of the Sawdust & Woodchips Woodworking Association (SWWA), started an initiative that would produce funding for local charities that help the children by selling Christmas ornaments donated by members of SWWA, especially the Scrolling Interest Group. Since not all the woodworkers in Central New York are members of SWWA, Barbara also approached the leadership of both the Central New York Woodturners and the Onondaga Woodcarvers to recruit their members to join in the effort. Through the combined efforts of the clubs, since 2006 over $35,000 has been donated to the Hospital, the children’s infusion wing of the Upstate Cancer Center, and the newly built Ronald McDonald House.
Over the years, several thousand scrolled, turned, and carved ornaments were donated and sold at a limited number of sites. The artists from each of the clubs donate as few as one ornament and as many as a couple of hundred at a time. Donations are not just traditional holiday ornaments but also include religious items such as nativity sets and specialized crosses. Our scrolled ornaments may depict religious icons like angels, crosses, and nativity scenes, but more often focus on diverse holiday-related images, sleds, sports, animals, birds, professions, etc. We also have special items like HUGs and IUs. Turned ornaments may be trees, snowmen, bird houses, icicles, hollowed balls, even specialized animals. We also accept non-ornament items like bottle openers, bottle stoppers, candlesticks, clocks, cutting boards, keychains, letter openers, light pulls, magnets, pictures, seam rippers, and word art. Occasionally, we even have small wooden toys.
We sell at 4-5 events per year, some indoor and some outdoors, and our product and mission are always well received by community members. The events have changed over the years. We’ve sold at the Upstate hospital cafeteria, the Niagara Mohawk cafeteria, the Junior League Holiday Shoppes, and the Camillus Canal Days. We’ve sold at the Baldwinsville Rotary’s Seneca River Day event since 2007. In 2009 we began selling after masses at St. Rose of Lima Church after SWWA’s traditional donation of toys at their holiday event. (See details of our holiday event here.) In 2011 we began selling at the Baldwinsville Baker High School craft show and sold there for each year since 2015 when the show was canceled due to renovations at the school. We added two new locations in 2015, one in Skaneateles and one in Manlius. To avoid costly fees, we only accepted cash or check until we felt we lost $200-$300 in sales in Skaneateles due to not taking credit. With the Manlius show we added credit sales capacity. In 2016, we hope to continue to sell at all of our 2015 sites and return to Baker High. Our total for 2015 produced over $3000 that was donated to Ronald McDonald House!
We are often asked if we sell from a website. It would be impossible to do so without making significant changes to our effort which is all voluntary. If you need certain things or want to attend an event at which we are selling, we encourage you to watch this website for our 2016 sales locations and/or send an inquiry regarding our whereabouts.
Thank you to everyone who has donated over the years, to those who have helped at the sales, and to those who have purchased the items. Most of all, the kids thank you!
* Ornaments plus all sorts of stuff!
Thank you SWWA members for your support!
Ornament Sales to Benefit
Central New York Children’s Charities