December 31, 2019
A man in Central Texas is making stylish and dependable canes for veterans out of donated and leftover Christmas trees.
Canes For Veterans Central Texas / Facebook
US Army veteran Jamie Willis started “Canes for Veterans Central Texas” in 2016 when he realized he wasn’t the only veteran who needed a cane that was safe and sturdy.
Willis served in the army for 8 years and is now disabled and 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 originally given a cane from Veterans Affairs but it was “ugly” and kept collapsing on him.
So, he turned to the Florida-based organization “Free Canes for Veterans” which was giving out 500 canes at the time. After he was told they had none left, the organization’s founder, Oscar Morris, 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.
This is the second year Willis has asked for tree donations, but says he has been overwhelmed with support this year.
“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.
Each tree produces one cane, which takes Willis about one day to make, package, and ship to the veteran who will use it.
To make a donation to Canes for Veterans Central Texas, click here.
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