Canes for Heroes was birthed in 2011 in Easley South Carolina by Master Carpenter Tim Alex. Tim, a disabled Navy veteran, put his creative mind to work and made a beautiful wooden cane for a good friend in Atlanta, also a disabled veteran. It was such a big hit he decided to make canes for other veterans.
Since that time the canes evolved from pine wood to walnut. Each cane is a different shape and design. It remains a "work in progress". Custom-made handles now fit those who are left or right handed. A wooden hook allows the user to hang it from a shopping cart or counter or his belt to free both hands. Each cane is sketched on the wood, cut out, routed, sanded and poly coated by hand. Walking sticks have also been added to the ministry.
Tim has made and distributed hundreds of canes and walking sticks. Tim says "the many letters and comments from the wives, sweethearts and family members make all his efforts for this ministry well worth while". Clay Davis, a great friend in Sumerduck, Virginia helps Tim make canes on occasion when he and his wife visit the Alex's. He has carried dozens of canes to Ft. Sam Houston Military Hospital Orthopedic Center in San Antonio Texas for distribution to our men and women military heroes who are fitted with "new legs" and taught to walk again.
Tim, family and his friends have also given away canes randomly while eating out, shopping centers etc. in Northern Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia. Canes and walking sticks are also donated to injured medical responders, fire fighters, and law enforcement heroes who cannot walk without assistance. When you hand the hero a cane, the responses are overwhelming. Laughter, unbelief, and tears bring reward enough. One cane was given to a 100 year old man who still walked! Often, the recipient just turns the cane over and over, grinning like they just won the lottery!
Donations of any amount help buy more wood and supplies. Also canes and walking sticks are sold to the public for $80.00, 100% of which goes to purchase more material. Tim is looking for other woodworkers around the country to do the same thing in their area.
A huge shout out of appreciation and gratitude to the Gwinnett Woodworking Association located in Lilburn, GA. for inviting Tim Alex to speak about "Canes for Heroes", how he got started and how he makes his canes. He shared his story and his design and away they proceeded with opened arms and hearts to assist him in making additional canes for Veterans! They have donated over 50 canes now that are currently being distributed to Veterans of all branches. This woodworking group is made up of all ages, men and women and all different levels of talent and skill. Many of these woodworkers are also Veterans themselves and are all amazing! They truly made Tim Alex and Mina Little feel welcome and so much a part of their group from day one! We continue to team up with Gwinnett Woodworking Association so that as many Veterans can be reached throughout our communities.
Please help in any way to lighten the burden for our Wounded Heroes, in your community.