Matthews, North Carolina—In recent years, it's been called the Maker Movement, the "do-it-yourself" culture that has inspired people of all ages to take up everything from vegetable gardening to woodworking.
That spirit of ingenuity is flourishing at Windsor Run, an Erickson Living retirement community in Matthews, NC. A resident-led group of woodworkers, known as the WoodChucks, is leading the way.
The group, 22 members strong and growing, features residents with a broad spectrum of skills.
"Our members range from professional woodworkers to those who have never operated heavy machinery," described Rob Sanders, a resident of Windsor Run who moved to the community in July 2018 with his wife Kathryne. "But we are all blessed with a common love for the craft and helping others."
The WoodChucks enjoy a two-room workshop, divided into a cutting and fabrication area and a finishing station for painting and staining. Initially furnished with equipment by Windsor Run, the group has received donations of tools from incoming residents since the community's opening in May 2018. It is now considered fully-operational after the installation of a state-of-the-art dust management system last year.
"Our initial period of operation focused on set-up, but now we can concentrate on projects and orientation of new members," said Mr. Sanders, a retired wealth management advisor with Merrill Lynch. "We have club officers and two shop managers."
Much of their work involves helping fellow residents at Windsor Run. The WoodChucks have repaired and made furniture, created flag stands & door stops and even built 70 card holders for canasta players.
One larger project has garnered positive attention within the entire community. In early January, the WoodChucks completed the construction of a wooden bridge over a drainage area to complete access to the gardens and a walking path around the campus.
"It was really a nice, collaborative assignment that helps everyone at Windsor Run," noted Mr. Sanders. "The General Services Department provided the lumber, and our group performed the design and construction. Together, we installed the bridge on January 6."
The undertaking represented another way in which members of the WoodChucks enjoy Windsor Run.
"We receive tremendous support from employees, particularly in Resident Life and General Services, and we have a great deal of fun socializing and tackling our projects, said Mr. Sanders. "There's a feeling of pride when our members attach the 'Made by WoodChucks' label on our finished creations."
About Windsor Run: Windsor Run, situated on a scenic 60-acre campus in Matthews, North Carolina, is one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®. The community is home to more than 425 residents who are supported by a team of more than 110 employees. Additional information about Windsor Run can be found at WindsorRunCommunity.com.