GRASS VALLEY – The woodshop team at Magnolia Intermediate School is hoping the sifting boxes they’ve made will be a meaningful tool for helping victims of the Camp Fire rebuild their lives.
It’s a simple project, just a broken down two-by-four trimmed, prepped and assembled.
“In the ashes of their homes they will be able to grab the sifters and sift through stuff to find heirlooms, rings, necklaces, anything that hasn’t melted in the fire,” said eighth grader, Grace Pratt.
Shop teacher Phil Richardson got the idea from his wife.
“I thought it would be a good project for our woodshop kids,” said Richardson.
He launched a fundraising campaign and within weeks, more than doubled his goal.
“We’ve got about $800 in donations and built 200 sifting screens,” Richardson said.
When they started the project, these Grass Valley residents expected most sifters would go to people they’ve never met but they’ve learned even people in their own school community have been affected by the devastating fire.
“We’ll save two for Miss Patterson and write a little note on there for her,” Richardson said to his students.
These are advanced students and they’ve got the production up to about one box every 10 minutes.
Pratt says what the project lacks in difficulty, her classmates, their instructors, and parents who have helped make up for in heart.
“Such a little like effort that we can put into this, we can put care and love into these and help the people just by doing such a small thing,” she said.
And like true artists, in the focus on the big picture, they haven’t forgotten the small touches.