THIS LETTER MAY HELP YOU DECIDE TO DONATE:
Dear Sir / Mam,
My name is Dean Richardson, and I am extremely proud and thankful Veteran to have had the opportunity to be a part of such an emotional and spiritual reset through the art of woodcarving. Something that was so generously provided to myself and other Vets just like me, through the grace of individuals such as yourself, helping to create the foundation in which rehabilitation can be embraced and supported. To put this into perspective from my point of view, I like to say, "This experience is the opportunity of a life time to have your moral compass taken in by all, respected by all, and reset when only you the individual, have made the decision to change your mindset and restore your quality of life through this wonderful program provided.
The meanings of the tools are provided come to us in multiple different ways. We of course have the actual tools that consist of of high quality Austrian hand made carving tools complete with honing rubs, strops, and multiple carving knives, and an endless supply of our worlds best woods for beginners, intermediate, and advance carvers. The most professional and down to earth individuals have takin a great portion of their personal lives in sacrifice to have this program succeed in a manor in which it has changed the worlds for the individuals. More importantly for their family, who suffer the same ,if not more, with the ones they love who battle daily in search of the true quality of life. Which brings me to my second meaning of the tools provided to us, is in the form of mentoring and teaching. I know it's not much to ask for the average person to do something like mentor or teach, but for a lot of us we are picking our selfs up from the bottom due to the multiple deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom over the past decade plus. Teaching is a true test to the individuals courage in facing the fear. Mentoring comes to us in the form of enrichment, this goes from the mentor to the mentee as well as the mentee to the mentor. True examples of heart are shown by each person in their own ways.
Joe and Sharon Dillett are the sweetest couple you have ever met. From day one she had the grandmotherly feel of total comfort and doesn't hesitate to fix up cuts or pull a splinter or two! Joe is the true example of an entrepreneur, his success in the art of carving has succeeded far more than his peers in the industry. He is a true example of a mentor inside the classroom and out! He is a man that turned his vision into his reality. In turn decades of teaching and his mastery of skills has been highly influential to the lives he has touched through the craft of wood carving.
Daniel Burgett is a man with a fierce passion in the art of bird carving. He made me a deal two years ago about using the wood burning tool. He said if you use this tool consistently over the next 24 months and show progression you can keep it, and if you decide that art just wasn't what I wanted to do, then simply send it back to him again. Needless to say I still have the wood burner! He is actually taking me to the World Wildfowl Championship held in Ocean City, MD. He has reserved an access pass for me to engage with hundreds of the worlds best bird carvers. This opportunity shows that this is not just hi and bye type deal for this 501c3, but rather an extension of our mentoring relationships enriching the lives each Veteran, this in turn benefits our health and our well being.
Kevin Coughlan,a man with an immense amount of passion for living and inspiring! He is one of the most down to earth and grounded individuals I have every come into contact with! His ability to mentor has an enormous impact on the tight bond of each sessions group foundations. I view him as my life coach on many different levels. His passion for the local wildlife combined with a vast array of knowledge has made for some outstanding floats down the river! The unselfish dedication for being able to tie nature with carving has allowed for true rehabilitation to take place, in mind and soul! He has spent countless hours preparing classes and materials for individual education as well as carving group therapy sessions down on the Snake River!
Sandra Budauk is the richest heart in the room, if it wasn't for her being the great soul she is, none of this Non Profit Organization would exist! Her selfless commitment to our nations Veterans and their families has aloud for natural rehabilitation to take place! For that we are forever thankful beyond words! We have become a place in her heart, and her's in ours! Week after week, month after month, year after year she makes it happen for thousands of our nations finest! From food and lodging, to transportation and flights, her countless hours have allotted us the opportunity to enjoy the comfort of this great experience. She truly is and will always be the backbone of this program. We are indebted to her for her shear selflessness and would love to have her recognized for how much she truly does! A few years back when I did my first chainsaw piece I was truly discouraged with my carving of the Tetons, after I had tossed it out she salvaged my piece and kept in its new home, her home, and it has been there ever since! She doesn't know, that I know, she has it but, it just goes to show the purity of her heart and soul.
Johnnathan "The Bear Man" has gone through great lengths ensuring that chainsaw carving is broken down into simple practices challenging the creation of unique pieces of art. Since attending his class I have gone home and created 4 or 5 life size pieces two of which are for sale at the local country store here in West Virginia! One of the others sold and I traded another for access to unlimited wood supply of any logs I want to carve down at the local saw mill! I'm now carving another life size bear and with any luck when all is said and done the bear will be the holder of my mail box! I am really looking forward to the completion of this project, one more piece done, and great knowledge gained!
In conclusion, my deepest thanks and appreciation to every single person that makes this clock tic, she is a well oiled machine and will continue to tick tock as long as the organization is backed by heartfelt individuals such as yourselves allowing these wonderful people mentioned above to create such a positive impact for us, our families, our communities, and our individual lives!
Dean Richardson, USMC Retired
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