Cutting Boards for a Cause: Gifts from Boston HandyWorks

The giving – and buying – season is upon us. This year? Plan to do both. Simultaneously, if possible.

Boston HandWorks

Boston HandyWorks, a social enterprise of the Pine Street Inn shelter (Rue La La’s primary volunteer destination), provides on-the-job training and real-life work experience in carpentry, home maintenance, housekeeping, and cleaning to individuals who have been homeless, jobless, or “anyone with the need to get back into the cycle of daily work life,” says Boston HandyWorks’s director, Nicholas Pieri.

As the largest resource for homeless men and women in New England, trainees come from Pine Street Inn as well as other local shelters, halfway houses, and sober houses – with no prior work experience required.

“The main thing they need is motivation and enthusiasm,” says Pieri. “Most have done some kind of work with their hands, but it’s really about having an interest in working hard.”

The result? Handcrafted and custom-made maple and cherrywood cutting boards, with all proceeds benefitting the HandyWorks training and education programs. So, basically, you can help struggling Bostonians learn a marketable skill, and have a striking countertop essential to show for it. Sounds like a win-win.

Pick up your cutting board at The Guests Are Coming: Prepare for the Holidays Boutique.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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November 19, 2013