GREAT FALLS — The Alliance For Youth in Great Falls has been busy this new year. Their latest project is helping people create handmade wooden projects. It’s part of their annual woodworking shop that they host for kids in the community.
Alliance For Youth put together their third annual woodworking shop thanks to partnerships with the community. All the lumber and materials were donated to give kids a chance to learn about trades and woodworking.
Hugh McLaughlin is the instructor for the class and loves to teach people about one of his passions. He hopes it gives some students something they love and want to do, but it’s all about the teaching and giving for him.
“For me it’s about giving back to the community and to the youth. A lot of parents come in, put things together and paint them with their kids and that stuff and they have a lot of fun time and then we donate our time, and we just take care of them,” McLaughlin said.
Kids can grab any type of wood they want and build anything from a plane to a treasure box. Johnson Madison Lumber Company provided all the wood and kids got to build what they wanted for free. The event is hosted by the Sober Life, a program within Alliance For Youth that aims to help people in the recovery process and bring people together.
“It’s a wonderful thing. Sober Life’s a great thing. The community has gotten behind us you know. They see what we’ve done. They’ve seen the different changes we get with other people,” McLaughlin said.
They say kids and parents alike come to events like this to learn new things and the Sober life aims to give back to them.
Kai Stewart is an intern with Sober Life and helps organize events like the woodworking class. He says they stay busy most of the year but are glad to be able to keep giving people opportunities and things to do.
“This event is pretty cool because we have good sponsors such as Home Depot and Johnson Madison, they sponsored us and helped donate stuff,” Stewart said. “I look forward to us providing activities for the community. You hear a lot of people say there’s not a lot to do in Great Falls, well there’s always something going on at Sober Life. Everyone involved with someone is there to help, whether it’s helping you or helping someone else it’s never about the individual it’s about the group so that’s my favorite part about Sober Life.”