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Donate Tools to Turners Without Borders

Many turners have donated tools to the Turners Without Borders Tool Bank since the AAW symposium in Tampa. These tools have been put to good use in countries including Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, donated tools were used for our woodturning initiative in Puerto Rico, where twelve artisans were taught woodturning and will be working with Carmen De La Paz to establish AAW’s first chapter there.

To help Turners Without Borders continue to implement global woodturning initiatives—and to support other AAW programs like Woodturning Beyond Barriers—please bring your surplus and lightly-used tools to the Pittsburgh symposium. Bowl gouges, spindle gouges, and roughing gouges are most needed, but all other tools are welcome. Donations will be accepted at the registration desk.




Powermatic Lathe Raffle          

First prize is a 2015 Powermatic 3520B lathe, custom painted for the symposium. The winning ticket will be drawn at the award ceremony. Ticket holders need not be present to win. Prize includes a freight allowance. Proceeds support activities of the AAW and Pittsburgh local chapters. Tickets may be purchased on site at the symposium only. You must be 18 or older to purchase tickets or win prizes.

Ticket Sales: Dates/times coming soon

ReTURN to the Community

Photo of woodturned bowls.

Empty Bowls

AAW members donate bowls which are sold to raise money for a local non-profit. Large or small, each bowl costs only $25. 100% of the proceeds benefit a local charity. This year, the proceeds will go to Variety the Children’s Charity of Pittsburgh.

Variety provides children with disabilities with adaptive and assistive technologies to allow them to gain the freedom to be as active, involved, accepted, and independent as possible. Examples of these devices include wheelchair ramps, lifts, adaptive car seats and strollers, specialized vans, scooters, adaptive bikes, iPads, etc. Additionally, Variety offers two specialty programs. Variety’s My Bike program provides adaptive bikes to children in need with disabilities so they can experience the joy of riding a bike alongside friends and family. My Voice is Variety’s newest program which helps children with disabilities communicate at home using the same technologies they have learned to use in speech and/or occupational therapy.

“There is no greater joy than watching a child overcome their challenges with adaptive equipment; their first bike ride with friends or their first words spoken to family.”

Woodturners: Donate Woodturned Bowls
Bowls may be any size and of any material.Bowls will be displayed by chapter, so include your chapter name with your bowls so they can be displayed with the appropriately.


ReTURN to the Community Donations

For those not attending the symposium, bowl and box donations may be shipped to:


Until mid-May:


222 Landmark Center

75 W 5th Street

Saint Paul, MN 55102


After mid-May:


Mailing Address Only:

J. Poli, Inc.

Attn: Michelle Jordan and indicate "Empty Bowls" or "Beads of Courage"

2601 Jane St.

Pittsburgh, PA 15203


(For information about Empty Bowls & Beads of Courage, please call the AAW office at 651-484-9094 or 877-595-9094)

Inside the box:
Please include the name of the donating individual(s) or chapter, as well as email address and number of items.


Beads of Courage

AAW members donate handmade boxes to Beads of Courage, nonprofit that provides innovative, arts-in-medicine supportive care programs to transform the treatment experience for children coping with serious illness. Through the Beads of Courage, children receive a unique bead to represent each procedure or treatment. 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 wood turned box will be used to hold a sick child's precious beads.

Boxes made and donated by Hans Finsterwalder of Lake Havasu City, AZ

Woodturners: Donate a Woodturned 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:




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