The members of the Tampa Woodcrafters were horrified when they heard a World War II veteran was buried in a Florida cemetery in a cardboard box.
So they set out to do something about it.
About three months ago, club members began crafting wooden urns for veterans.
The idea came from Tom Jones of Land O' Lakes, the club's incoming president, former president Tom Whittington said.
The average age of club members is 75, and 75 percent of them are veterans, Whittington said.
Club members were “appalled at the way our war heroes are treated by the government they served,” he said.
The Florida National Cemetery holds a special service four times each year for all veterans who are buried without family present. But it would take an Act of Congress to give the Veterans Affairs Department the ability to purchase caskets for deceased veterans, Fox News reported recently.
The engraved urns made by club members are given to veterans in need free of charge, Whittington said. Donations from the community will help them expand their efforts further.
Usable lumber, cash donations and tools are needed.
Entire wood tool shops were donated recently.
“We offer these first to our club members, then advertise and sell the rest to raise more money for more veteran urns,” Whittington said.
The group also is working to create chapters dedicated to the cause with other woodworking clubs in the state and nationwide, he said.
“Each group can build urns and donate them to the nearest veterans’ cemetery,” he said.
Production of the urns will begin again in January. If you would like to donate or for more information on the club, club members can be reached through the Woodcrafters Club of Tampa website.
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