A Texas man is designing canes for veterans using donated Christmas trees.
The Canes for Veterans Central Texas was started by US Army veteran Jamie Willis when he realized he wasn’t the only veteran who needed a safe and sturdy cane.
Willis who served in the army for eight years is now disabled and completely unable to work.
“I do this so I don’t sit home all day feeling sorry for myself,” Willis told CNN. “This is all out of kindness. I do everything out of pocket and from donations.”
Willis was given a cane by the Veterans Affairs but it kept collapsing and wasn’t trustworthy.
So, he approached a Florida organization called “Free Canes for Veterans” which was giving out 500 canes. But at that time, they were running out of canes.
Oscar Morris, the head of the organization, instead taught Willis how to make his own cane.
“When I successfully sat down and made my very first cane, I asked him if I could branch it off and start Cane for Veterans in Central Texas and he said he would love for me to do that,” Willis said.
Since then, the 50-year-old man has made and delivered more than 200 canes to veterans who live all over the world.
This is the second year Willis has asked for tree donations, but says he has been receiving an overwhelming support this year.
157 trees have been delimbed today. Now they need to dry! 300 more to go from the home Depot donation.
“Home Depot flooded me with trees, they’re sending me 400, and the rest of the community will be giving me about another 100 trees,” he said.
Shout out to @lowes for their tree donation this morning!
Willis makes one cane from each tree, which takes about one day, package, and ship to the veteran in need.
If you would like to donate to Canes for Veterans Central Texas, please visit this page.