Annual review of our charitable giving

As the year winds to a close, we did our annual review of charitable giving.

Topping the list are 4 organizations who receive in excess of $500.00 each. Doctors without Borders, an aid agency who provides health to some of the most war torn areas of the world.

The Society of American Period Furnituremakers is a fledgling organization that supports communication and skill development for furnituremakers. We are benefactors and this year, in addition to general fund gifts, we provided scholarship money for education.

The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker agency and promotes peace throughout the world, working with refugee populations in trouble torn areas like Chechnya, Lebanon, Macedonia, Albania, and Pakistan.

And lastly we support the North Bennet Street School in Boston. North Bennet street teaches a wide range of crafts to adults. Many of our customers have emerged from North Bennet Street, and we are proud to support them.

Additionally, we support 2 orphanages, one here in Cromwell and another in Madagascar. When Toby and I travelled to Madagascar in 2001, we became familiar with an orphanage in Tana. They do wonderful work with homeless children and teach them trades in preparation for later life. The Children’s Home in Cromwell does the same thing. We are believers in teaching young people skills that will earn them a living, as not everyone is college bound.

We are big believers in the trades, and recognize that all children are not going to attend 4year colleges. And if everyone did, frankly, who would roof your house or repair your plumbing? Thaddeus Stevens School of Technology is a wonderful school that teaches many skills to its attendees. Pennsylvania kids can learn to become electricians, plumbers, house building, masons, and so forth. There is a fine cabinetmaking program ably taught by Stephen Latta and Rob Tobias. We are proud to provide all the hardware for their projects. If you know of a public school that teaches skills for life, and might need hardware, let me know. Maybe there is a way Horton Brasses can help their woodworking department.

Other charities in whom we believe include our local Habitat for Humanity, Spald House, a local developmental learning facility for disabled adults, CERF, an organization who provides short term relief to craftspeople of all types who are faced with catastrophe such as fire or major illness or injury, our local public radio station, WFCR in Amherst, MA, and Farm and Wilderness summer camps.