WHY woodworking

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  • #2276
    Artur Galaj

    Not sure if I did this right… but here it is.

    My WHY
    As a 26 year veteran of the CAF, I have been exposed and experienced all sort of stressful situations and circumstances. I get it, it comes with the job. Unfortunately there are very minimal resources available to combat the mental anguish that soldiers experience and carry with them. Some will share the experiences and talk about what they are going through, others try to find an outlet that will help them cope. I became Sentinel, a peer supporter, to assist my fellow troops and ensure they will know that they are not alone. Unfortunately, some soldiers don’t get that luxury and give in and find a way out through harmful means. I have lost several close friends to suicide as they were fighting their demons and put on a brave face so they would not let on that they are hurt or need help. As I was battling my own demons, I turned to carpentry and woodworking to cope and distract myself. As it turns out I found woodworking to be very therapeutic, helps me focus, helps me relax and give me peace of mind. Woodworking allows me to challenge myself, teaches me how to accept failure as part of the creative process, forces me to think outside the box and lets me be creative and make the best from what I have. If woodworking can help me in this way, I believe it will help others like me.

    Business WHY
    I started woodworking business as means of income outside of the military, but the focus is to assist soldiers/veterans suffering with PTSD/OSI/mental health in a safe, supportive environment away from the military. Proceeds from sales will go towards this program, where veterans will be introduced to woodworking through mentorship, peer support and creative process, at no cost to them. Let them experience woodworking as a therapeutic tool to their well-being.

    Customer WHY
    Canadians are proud and care about their veterans, and may not know how to show their support other then wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day. Through Whitewater Craftsman, not only will they receive a handcrafted, one of a kind items, but they will be able to help a veteran business, they will help a local business, and indirectly help veterans to have access to alternative aspect of their healing process.

    Judy Evans


    Your personal connection to your business and your customer are impactful.

    I am looking forward to the evolution of your business model.


    Neil Burrell


    If you help vets carve canoe paddles, I’ll coach them on using them! I’m thinking probably need to form part of a team looking at this and related topics. I suspect that you’ll find a similar thread running through my “why” posts.


    Erin Melnychuk

    I love the synergy forming between your motivations and even business models, to some extent, Neil and Artur. I’m glad Neil is joining your peer group, Artur. You’ll have lots to brainstorm together.

    I’m in love with this WHY Artur. Way to go.

    Laura Svab

    Hi Artur,

    Thanks for sharing your WHYS.

    As I wrote to you before, I personally have lost two very close friends who were on my tour to suicide and I completely understand the need for more mental health support within our veteran community; especially alternative programs like what you would like to offer. Also, several of my army friends really enjoy carpentry and I think it allows them to channel their energy into something that is both therapeutic and rewarding.

    I was thinking that VAC may have funding available to you to run your program for vets in an effort to support mental health, and could possibly provide you with supplies and materials. As I also mentioned, I would recommend checking into the high schools in your area and seeing if any of them have workshops. They would likely be equipped with all the tools you would need, and would only ask that you ensure it is cleaned up as you found it when you are done. I know my high school does and it is common practice to rent/ or lend out these spaces to local groups and organizations in the evening, which is usually overseen by the nighttime custodians. My school for example has a karate group and volleyball league that use the gyms at night, and I believe that one of the teachers runs a woodworking group after school as well. All this to say, being in the Petawawa area I am certain that if the high schools have the facilities, the principal would gladly participate in your program as it is a positive initiative for the community. If it helps to promote mental health in the parents, then it ultimately promotes the mental health and stability of the families in that community. 😀



    Artur Galaj

    Thank you all for your input. Greatly appreciate it.

    Anthony Bullen


    Your Why is outstanding, I have personally seen unbelievable suffering in friends and have suffered myself from extremely stressful situations that I will most likely carry for the rest of my life. Talking makes it easier. I’m sort of the guy that people open up to when they have issues. Finding a hobby helps people find an outlet as well a community in your case that they may no longer have. I have several friends who have gotten into woodworking as a hobby to calm their mind. Having someone to provide them with guidance and allow access to tools will help those who don’t have the means for whatever reason.

    Keep it up man, although you may not see it directly you will be saving lives and easing suffering! Not to mention creating beautiful products in the process.


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