A Few Good Things Going On

April 12, 2014 Comments Off on A Few Good Things Going On

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Photo courtesy kestreltool.com

Occasionally I stumble upon some interesting crowdfunding campaigns that catch my eye. I thought I would mention a few here in case anyone was interested in donating a few dollars. Kestrel Tool is a small toolmaking shop on Lopez Island in Washington. It began when Gregg Blomberg started making crooked knives and adzes to help keep the amazing Northwest Coast wood carving tradition alive. He is now ready to transition the business to new owner and tool maker Charlie Prince. It’s heartening to see a small business such as this continuing to the next generation. We’ve all heard of the small artisan shops that retire along with their founder. I’d like to think that is the exception rather than the rule. Kestrel Tool launched a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo to help with the transition. At the very least it’s worth watching the video and reading their page on Indiegogo.

Somewhat related to woodworking is the Kickstarter campaign for the trio band Underhill Rose. One third of that trio is Eleanor, Roy Underhill’s daughter. If you a reader of Roy’s books you might recognize Eleanor’s name as she was the illustrator of the detailed drawings in Roy’s last book, The Woodwright’s Guide, Working Wood with Wedge & Edge. Talented girl, that Eleanor. They have a lot of money to raise in just two weeks – I hope there is enough time left to reach their goal.


A little while back I posted about a herd of goats here in Portland that were occupying an empty lot. Well, progress demands that lot be developed, and in a few years a shiny new apartment and retail complex will open. Ground breaking will begin soon, so the goats need to move. After month’s of searching, a new home was found for the goats in another neighborhood here in Portland. The herd’s caretakers started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to help with the move, and to provide some nice amenities at their new home. Each morning on the walk into work we make a point to stop by and see the goats. I’ll miss having them around.

Portland, OR is absolutely chock full of volunteer efforts and campaigns. It’s one of the things that ties the community together, and gives each neighborhood a point of pride. It’s funny how our support changes over the years, however. When we’re young we don’t have much money. We’re fresh out of school, just starting our careers and trying to make do on an entry-level salary. But while we may not have much extra cash, we typically have more time on our hands, so we volunteer that to the cause of choice. As we grow older, however, things slowly reverse. We tend to make more money, but “free” time becomes more and more precious. And so we volunteer with our checkbook, and donate our money instead of our time. Volunteer organizations need both, of course, and it’s up to each of us to try and reach a balance as best we can.

On a final note, it’s been a really nice spring here in Oregon, and the cherry trees and lilacs are in full bloom here in the neighborhood.

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