Our local woodturning club has begun a really exciting project for shut-in veterans in Arkansas. This was featured in our local newspaper the other day. I'll try to get a link for the article later.
What they are doing is beginning a pen kit and helping vets learn how to complete them. The club member cut and drill the blanks, glue in the tubes and rough turn to round.
The sets are then taken to the vets who complete the turning, finish and assemble the kits.
Plus, the VA has allowed lathes and tools (usually a big NO-NO) for the vets to use. One of the club members has even designed and made lathe stands that can be used by wheelchair bound individuals. How cool is that? The club bought and donated several mini lathes and some tools. The VA even bought another lathe.
Previously these patients did little more than sit and stare at the walls all day. (I'll avoid a rant here about the VA ignoring their needs.) Now, they have something to do and a creative outlet to boot.
I donated about 50 stabilized redbud burl blanks and am going to stabilize a bunch more spalted Box Elder blanks for the project.
I believe this idea has the potential of going national and inspiring others. Very-very exciting, IMHO.