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Committed to giving back

Seabrook woodworkers donate handmade cabinets to historic Crawford House

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April 13th, 2017
Jack Cunningham repairs a chair for one of his Seabrook neighbors.

Jack Cunningham repairs a chair for one of his Seabrook neighbors.

Woodworkers at Seabrook don’t just build toys, furniture, pens, and cutting boards, they build relationships through community service. The woodshop group at the Tinton Falls, N.J., Erickson Living community recently donated two handmade wood cabinets to the nearby historic Crawford House, also in Tinton Falls. 

The group includes mainly men who enjoyed woodworking in their former homes or have always wanted to try it. Having traded homeowner responsibilities for maintenance-free living at Seabrook, they now have time to hone their craft. 

The large, fully equipped on-site woodshop enables them to tackle any project, whether they’re building a dollhouse for a grandchild, repairing a chair for a neighbor, or fulfilling a need in the local community.

Where there’s a need

Earlier this year, Seabrook resident Jack Cunningham reached out to Tinton Falls town officials to find out how the community’s large group of woodworkers could support public activities. He discovered that the Crawford House needed storage cabinets.

“The Friends of the Crawford House are very grateful to the woodworkers at Seabrook for stepping in to take on this project for us,” says Stacey Slowinski, chairwoman of the Tinton Falls Historic Preservation Commission. “It had originally been part of another volunteer project, and some circumstances arose so that it wasn’t completed—and we were left with the pile of wood we had purchased and still no storage cabinets.”

Cunningham teamed up with Seabrook resident Al Gilbert, who has been volunteering for the woodshop for more than three years, to build the cabinets. The Crawford House staff finished them to fit in with the interior décor.

“Now that we are finishing up our interior renovations to the house, the timing is perfect to have them in place and ready to use for organizing our supplies,” says Slowinski.

Giving back

“We are very active in the community in many different ways, and this is just one more way of helping the community,” says Cunningham.

Seabrook woodworkers are committed to giving back. Throughout the year, they build and donate items for children, such as toy cars and dollhouses, and repair furniture for neighbors.  

In 2016, they donated more than $3,000 to charitable funds, including the Seabrook Scholars Fund and Resident Care Fund. 

Last summer, the craftsmen sent former Rutgers football star Eric LeGrand a handmade card holder decorated with LeGrand’s jersey number 52 and Rutgers’ color and logo to honor him for his courage and strength in his rehabilitation after suffering a spinal cord injury in 2010, as well as for his outstanding volunteer work.

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