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Charitable Projects


Empty Bowls

  • Thursday, June 22 - Times TBA
  • Friday, June 23 - Times TBA
  • Saturday, June 24 - Times TBA
  • Sunday, June 25 - Times TBA
AAW members create and donate woodturned bowls (and other turned items), which are sold in the Instant Gallery during the national symposium each year to raise money for a local nonprofit in the city hosting the symposium. Large or small, each bowl costs only $25.
100% of the 2017 proceeds will benefit Variety the Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City, which provides children with developmental disabilities adaptive equipment and opportunities for activity and inclusion.


Woodturners: Donate a Woodturned Bowl

Turn, bring along, and donate a bowl (or pen or other turned item) of any size to the AAW's Empty Bowls initiative.

Beads of Courage

AAW members create and donate woodturned boxes to non-profit Beads of Courage. Through the Beads of Courage, children receive a unique bead to represent each procedure or treatment in a serious illness. For example, a red bead for each blood transfusion, a yellow bead for each night in the hospital, a star bead for surgery, a white bead for chemotherapy. Their collection of beads becomes a tangible record of their journey. Each turned box will be used to hold a sick child's precious beads.

Woodturners: Donate a Woodturned Box

Make, bring along, and donate a handmade lidded box to hold the beads of a child coping with serious illness through Beads of Courage.


Size Guidelines/Order a Bead for Your Box

  • In order to sufficiently hold beads, turned boxes need to be no smaller than 6" (15cm) in diameter. Larger is okay.
  • If possible, engrave, or burn “Beads of Courage” on the lid.
  • Make sure lids are easily removable.
  • Finials or knobs should be easy for a small child to grasp and not too elaborate or pointed.
  • Sign your name or write “American Association of Woodturners” on the bottom.
  • If you would like to use an official Beads of Courage ceramic logo bead in your design, visit Beads of Courage to place an order.

Learn more:

  • Beads of Courage flyer (link TBA).
  • Beads of Courage website (link TBA).


AAW Tool Bank

AAW's Tool Bank is a success story. In each of the last five years, members have brought unwanted (new and lightly used) tools to the annual symposium for donation to help AAW programs such as Woodturning Beyond Barriers, Turning to the Future, and Turners Without Borders.

Currently, bowl, spindle, and roughing gouges are most needed, but all other tools are welcome.

If you've got a few tools you don't use, put them aside and bring them with you to the symposium. Donations will be accepted at the symposium registration desk.

If you can't attend the symposium you can still contribute. Simply send your tool donations to the AAW office at 222 Landmark Center, 75 5th St. W., St. Paul, MN 55102.



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