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Duluth Woodworkers Building Beds of Hope

Updated: 07/19/2014 6:20 PM
Created: 07/19/2014 3:38 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

The Steve O'Neil Apartments in Duluth should be ready to serve homeless families by the end of the year, and a group of woodworkers is putting a lot of sweat into crafting beds to make it feel like home.

Volunteers with the Duluth Woodworkers Club say it will take months to finish crafting almost 70 beds, but their happy to be following Steve O'Neil's lead in helping the less fortunate in our community.

“The Steve O'Neil Apartments are designed for families that don't have housing so they are much less fortunate than all of us. And it's one way to kind of give back to the community and use our skills that we have,” Mike Koppy says.

He brought the project to the club, and they're using his shop to build the beds. He says over 30 people have pitched in to help, and with nearly 70 beds to finish he's glad to have volunteers like Graham Edwards to keep things moving.

“The first load of lumber showed up and I looked at it and I was like, 'Whoa, this is going to a lot of work.' But now everybody kind of has their own niche and we're going along,” Edwards says.

They've been focusing on crafting the wood into hundreds of leg posts. The Duluth Timber Company donated some of the Douglas fir, and the company is providing the rest of the timber at cost.

“It's old growth, you know, 100-year-old trees probably, or older, so it's great wood to work with,” Koppy says.

Koppy says their volunteer labor will save the apartments over $43,000, but it's about more than just the money. He's proud of their craftsmanship, and he wants it to give hope to the people who end up sleeping on their creations.

“They're going to be well-built. When they see that I think that will help them feel a little more pride and that the community does care about them,” Koppy said.

The Duluth Woodworkers Club has more build sessions planned throughout the summer and invite volunteers of any skill level to come help out.

Anyone interested in volunteering should email the club at duluthwoodworkers.com, and you can find more information on the group by clicking here.

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