Ken and I started this Vermont furniture store 10 years ago with the belief that businesses have a responsibility to make the world a better place. In developing a company that sells handcrafted wooden furniture we wanted to raise awareness about forest conservation and persuade customers to purchase furniture made from sustainably harvested, North American wood. A decade later, we're not naive enough to think we've changed the world but perhaps we've changed a tiny part of it and that feels good. Here are some highlights of what our team accomplished this year in support of our local community and our environmental mission:
Plant a Billion Trees Project
Vermont Woods Studios was founded on the mission of forest conservation and since the beginning, we've partnered with The Nature Conservancy to plant a tree for each order we take. This year it was well over 1000 trees.
Monarch Habitat Restoration Project
Nina, Peggy and other team members planted native milkweed seeds for a project that's restoring habitat for monarch butterflies in Southeastern Vermont.
Vernon's Giving Tree
Megan and other team members worked with officials from the Town of Vernon to provide Christmas gifts to local families in need.
Connecticut River Clean-up
Ken, Sean and a bunch more team members participated in the Connecticut River Watershed Council’s (CRWC) yearly “Source to Sea” trash cleanup of the Connecticut River. Afterwards we cooled off at Nesbitt's Portside Tavern :)
Meals on Wheels
Kelsey helped Riley deliver Meals on Wheels, an activity this Vermont furniture store has done every Friday since the company was created.
Vermont Food Bank Thanksgiving Project
We helped the Vermont Food Bank distribute food during the annual "Pack to Give Back" event in Brattleboro this Thanksgiving.
Vermont Woods Studios supported BEEC (Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center) at their annual Salamander Soiree, an event that raises awareness about amphibian migration. Some team members also went out at night and helped salamanders cross the roads on their journey to local vernal pools.
River Arts Gallery Auction
We donated a handmade wooden bed to the annual River Gallery Arts fundraiser in Brattleboro.
Wags to Riches Auction
Vermont Woods Studios donated a 3-Day weekend stay at Stratton Mountain Resort and a beautiful POLYWOOD Adirondack chair to the annual Wags to Riches fundraiser for the Windham County Humane Society.
Environmental Education at Vernon Elementary School
We sponsored an Aquatic Field Trip, where local students got the opportunity to explore a pond ecosystem.
Peggy, Riley and Kendall made a trip to the Amazon rainforest in Bolivia this year to lend support to a reforestation project at the Serere Reserve in Bolivia.
Providing Toys & Food for Kids in the Amazon Rainforest
We donated over $200 to bring Christmas gifts and food to children in the Amazon through Marco's Holiday Giving Project. Thanks to Riley for setting this up!
As we close out 2015, I extend my thanks to the customers, staff members, furniture makers, family, friends, neighbors and business partners whose support made the accomplishments of this small Vermont furniture store possible. Here's to your health and happiness in 2016!