HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Charlie Hamilton can get lost walking into his own backyard.
“I’m in here from the very beginning of the day, till it gets dark and time for dinner. I love every second I get to spend in my workshop,” said Charlie. “I come out of my trance when my mom comes out and tells me dinner is ready.”
The teen from Henrico loses himself in a small forest of fallen trees. Charlie is using the quarantine to carve and carve some more.
“I think getting out and using your hands can be awesome,” said Charlie.
An ancient trade passed down through generations of Hamiltons this is not.
“I’ve just grown and watched a lot of YouTube to learn all of the skills,” Charlie explained.
Yes. When other boys were playing video games Charlie was learning to whittle at 12.
“My friends like to make a few jokes ‘Old man Charlie going into his woodshop to make his bowls.’”
His hobby is nothing to laugh at. Charlie’s functional artwork sells in galleries and online between $50 and $250.
“It is such a fun process going from a log like one of these to a finished process. I just fell in love with it from the very beginning,” said Charlie.
But the craftsman’s bowls are serving a greater purpose during the pandemic.
“It’s an extremely fulfilling feeling I would say,” said Charlie.
The junior at Mills Godwin is pouring his profits into Feeding America which is one of the country’s largest food banks.
“I just saw it as an opportunity to give back,” said Charlie. “Just seeing the bright side of this is my goal through this whole process.”
A single dollar generates 10 meals for people in need.
Lifelong friend Charlie Unice helps with marketing and shipping the finished products.
“It’s a breath of fresh air to see someone dedicate so much time to something they love,” said Charlie. “So just thinking about the vast number of meals we are able to provide for the people who need it, it is just a rewarding experience.”
Since launching the Serving Bowls Project a few weeks ago, the friends have raised nearly $5,000. They’re goal is $15,000.
“I’ll always remember this process and work that we’re doing,” said Charlie.
Charlie Hamilton, an artist who may get lost in his own backyard, but he’s found a way to leave hunger in the sawdust.
“I would like to do it as long as I can,” said Charlie. “It’s all rewarding in the end and get to wipe the finish on the bowl and to see it shine is great.”
Charlie’s Serving Bowls Project is expanding. In addition to bowls, the teen will start carving functional serving boards for your kitchen.
If you’re interested in purchasing a bowl and helping feed the less fortunate, click here.
Greg McQuade features local heroes in a weekly “Heroes Among Us” segment. Watch Greg’s reports Thursdays on CBS News at 6 or here on WTVR.com. If you would like to nominate someone to be featured on “Heroes Among Us,” click here to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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