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North Carolina teen uses wood crafting skills to fight food insecurity

Sixteen-year-old Jamie Danis of Greensboro has raised more than $5,000 for a local nonprofit with his handcrafted wooden pieces.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A Greensboro teen uses his wood crafting skills to help fight food insecurity.

What started off as a hobby for 16-year-old Jamie Danis has turned into a full-fledged business.

“I just had so much time at home when school ended that I just wanted to you know try to do something.” Danis said.

Danis founded Designs by Jamie Danis; a product line of custom handcrafted wood pieces made from re-purposed and recycled materials.

He started his business at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March of 2020.

“I’ve made some tables, Adirondack chairs, I’ve made a couple rocking chairs, I’ve made a few beds and you know benches,” Danis explained.

Danis said he’s a self-taught craftsman.

His most prized pieces are his handcrafted trivets, coasters and cutting boards.

One hundred percent of the proceeds on these items benefit the nonprofit  A Simple Gesture.

Danis said he’s raised more than $5,000 for the organization through his craft sales.

“One in four kids in Guilford County suffer from food insecurity,” Danis explained.

“So just at the beginning of the pandemic I just know that was worsened by the economy and just layoffs and everything.”

A Simple Gesture is a food collection agency that supports food banks and food pantries in the Triad with a goal to end childhood hunger.

“I’ve had the privilege of not having to worry about food insecurity,” Danis said.

“And I just feel it’s my responsibility as a citizen to try to help alleviate that struggle in as many people in my community as I can.”

Danis is currently a Junior at Weaver Academy for the Performing and Visual Arts where he studies singing.

He said his goal is to continue to grow his business and charity work after he graduates from high school and into college. 

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