Building for a cause

Charles Jarvis with his pink birdhouses he built for the SOMC Cancer Center’s breast cancer awareness this month

Charles Jarvis standing behind some of the creative things he has made.

A photo of the many ball point pens that Jarvis has made himself from many different types of wood.

MINFORD — After more than 15 years of woodworking, Charles Jarvis has turned his hobby into an opportunity to help others with a special birdhouse that is a real homerun.

After discovering a passion for building birdhouses and ballpoint pens out of old baseball bats and recycled wood, Jarvis hopes to help raise funds for Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a special collection of pink birdhouses.

While Jarvis is selling the birdhouses to raise funds for SOMC Cancer Center, Jarvis also has a passion for making ballpoint pens out of all kinds of materials that are quite unusual, including broken baseball bats from the Minnesota Twins.

Jarvis has been making birdhouses for about 15 years. He said he sells them, and he also gives them away. The inspiration for his unique wood source came while watching a baseball game with his wife. He asked what was done with the broken bats and left the game with a carload (seven) broken bats. The athletes’ trash is Jarvis’ treasure and he transforms the bats and other recycled wood into something that’s both beautiful and useful, ballpoint pens and birdhouses.

Jarvis has also gotten wood from the old Minford High School Gym floor, made pens from that, sold them, and donated the money to the Minford Alumni Association. He said he has about 80 different types of wood. He spoke about having wood even from Brazil and Africa. He said he got the wood from Brazil while he was on a mission trip with his church. He shared he has been in four different countries.

Not only does Jarvis make these things, he has taught his son to make the pens and he also shared that he taught some classes in Ft. Myers at a wood show to children and adults. He noted that some of them had never seen a lathe. As if all that is not enough, he also made 150 pens and sent them to troops in Iraq during the war.

Jarvis has been retired for 26 years from Frowine Hardware. He started at Frowine’s in 1964. He said he has lived in Minford for 91 years, (his whole life) and that is his home. Jarvis served his country in the military and was in Korea at the end of the war and he was a radio repairman. He said he plans on doing the Pink Cruise Thursday night at 6 p.m.

Jarvis has much to tell about the things he has made and it is interesting to learn of the many things he has done and the places he has been, but it is important to note how many things he has given to make others happy, just like the pink birdhouses.

Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights