An Amazing Gift

It was a wonderful weekend for me, spending time with one of my sons and visiting with all the artists and authors at the Fine Art Market and Author Showcase in my little town. But the highlight of the weekend was the gift I received from Ted Armulowicz, an amazing artist who does wood turning and creates custom furniture.

Last year at the Art Market, I met Ted and offered to give him a piece of wood that had been a gift to my husband, who enjoyed wood carving as a hobby. Carl had died before he was able to use the wood, a lovely piece of cypress, and I didn’t want to just burn it or let it rot. When I showed it to Ted, he offered to buy it, and I told him, “No, just make something beautiful with it.”

So he did.

woodenbowl made by Ted

When I saw Ted this year, I barely got out the first part of “Are you the wood turner I gave the wood to?” when he grabbed my hand and took me to his booth where he showed me that bowl. Then before I could tell him I wanted to buy it and inquire as to the price, he wrapped it up and gifted it to me. It now sits on the second tier of an antique table in my living room. The top of the table has one of Carl’s favorite chess sets, and a few other treasured mementos that keep his spirit alive in my house.

Thank you, Ted. I told you I would treasure this, and I do.

That kind of empathy and generosity is what sets some people apart from others and prompts them to do acts of kindness, big and small. And today’s Strong Woman is doing it on a large scale.

Jaspen Boothe, an Army Reserves veteran founded Final Salute in 2010, a nonprofit organization that runs three transitional homes for female veterans who are facing homelessness, or are homeless. Since its inception, Final Salute has helped over 900 women Veterans and children in over 30 States with housing, financial assistance and other services.

After losing her home to Katrina, and almost losing her life to cancer, Boothe fought back and was eventually able to continue serving in the military, distinguishing herself in may areas. She never forgot what she and her son had been through during those challenging years, and she decided to find a way to make sure other female veterans had a resource in their time of need. For a full list of the honors she has received for her dedication click HERE.

And so I salute, Jaspen Boothe, and thank her for all she is doing to help others.

Tell me about your weekend. Do you have any special stories of generosity you would like to share?

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