Woodcarvers put skills to use to thank the troops

November 7th, 2010    Author: Debbie Robinson    Filed Under: News

The Eastfork Woodcarvers Club has utilized members’ skills and talents in a way that will say thank you to US Troops overseas. The club will be sending hand carved and hand painted, Christmas ornaments to Afghanistan in time for the Christmas season.

Several months ago the club, which meets at the Union Township Civic Center on the second and fourth Monday of the month, voted unanimously on this project which would require a dedicated team effort.

John Dotson, president of the club made the suggestion to the members several months ago.

From left are Ezra Smith, Don Sheppard and John Dotson
"I have a grandson, David Scott Dotson, in Afghanistan. I am a member of another club, River Valley Woodcarvers that is carving ornaments for the same troop my grandson is in. So I thought it would be a good idea for our club to do the same thing," he said.

Dotson says the Eastfork Woodcarvers Club has carved the ornaments with dedication and timeliness.

"In fact, we may have gone a bit overboard with the well over 100 ornaments that were completed. Everyone was so enthusiastic about this project. One of the members hand carved and painted the tree," Dotson said. "I carved 20 ornaments for the Eastfork Woodcarvers tree, and 20 for the tree that River Valley Woodcarvers in Taylor Mill, Ky., is sending."

Ezra Smith, treasurer, was responsible for sawing all of the blanks for the project taken on by Eastfork Woodcarvers. He has a wood shop his home where he utilizes his band saw.

"I also did some work on the tree. Somebody else actually made the original one but I had to some work to do on it so we could take it apart and get it ready for shipping," he said.

"I'm an ex-soldier too, so I think we should do all we can for our soldiers and I hope this will give somebody a little bit of pleasure," Smith said. "Those guys are away from their families and their homes, so this is not a hard thing for us to do for them. Helping out our soldiers by sending some stuff to them is an honor. I know they miss home but maybe this gift we are sending will make their Christmas celebration a little more, well - Christmassy."

In addition to the Christmas tree and ornaments, Care Packages will be sent to the troupe Dotson's grandson is in. Various items such as snacks and other items typically sent will be packed in boxes Smith said.

Dotson says the troops always appreciate care packages of any size.

"You can send goodie bags with dry soup, Ramen noodle soup, macaroni and cheese. Anything they can warm up in the microwave. Bags of chips and such, or candy that won't melt, no chocolate. Things like beef sticks and beef jerky are also appropriate," he said.

"When the troops receive these care packages they appreciate them and always distribute the contents to each other. There are some fellas that don't get anything from home but they all share with each other."

Dotson says the tree and care packages will be mailed on Nov. 2. He says it take two weeks for the troops to receive them.

Overall, members who participated in carving and painting the ornaments said they felt a true sense of pride in what they were doing for the soldiers. Some said it was like sending a little piece of home over to them. A way to say "Thank You."

If anyone would like to send Christmas cards or care packages they can be sent to Dotson's grandson. He will distribute the contents.

A Christmas card can be sent separately and addressed to David Dotson. Specify, in brackets (to any soldier) and Dotson will distribute the cards. The Address is: David Dotson

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