Making for Good

See what good can do. Browse by section to find these stories or scroll down to see more.

Our Heroes

Snowboard Factory Makes Face Shields for the Frontline

With uncertain times come unpredictable innovations and adaptations. Making the most with what you have on-hand and helping people in the process is an asset of pure selflessness. Klemens Branner, co-owner of Venture Snowboards, located in rugged Silverton, Colorado, is just this kind of person. Venture was founded in 1999, beginning their lifelong pursuit of crafting unrivaled snowboards for maximum mountain enjoyment and performance. Every Venture is handcrafted by snowboarders in their Silverton, Colorado, factory and tested in some of the most demanding terrains in the lower 48.

When this tiny mountain town consisting of 500 year-round residents isolated themselves from the outside world due to Covid-19, Klem decided to do what he does best and create something with his hands that will help protect frontline health care workers from the virus. Klem switched gears from handcrafting snowboards to manufacturing face shields basically overnight. His small but important contribution is an example of how people are responding to this pandemic in a positive and creative way.

man making face shields

How an Urban Farm Grew in a Skatepark

Usually cement and plants are like mixing oil with water, but co-founders Rob Cahill and Mike Crum of 4DWN Skate Park, did just that. During the COVID-19 shutdown, they saw an opportunity to bring urban farming to their non-profit community skate park that fosters growth and opportunity for youth in the community. While 4DWN is expanding its ramps, it’s also partnering with Restorative Farms to use on-site materials to build a functioning urban farm on the new vertical ramp, the courtyard and other parts of the skatepark.

Why build an urban farm here?

ROB: As we've gotten more active in the community, we've come to find out that we're in the middle of what they call a “food desert,” which is an area that doesn't have access to fresh healthy food. And here we are in South Dallas, that's right in the middle of all that, right. So, it made sense to us to integrate urban farming into our skate park. Why not? It's just a cool thing to do, kind of a rebellious thing to do. To me, it goes perfect with skateboarding.

MIKE: On a normal day, usually this place would be packed with families and skaters. But during the pandemic, we're just using this time to make the place even better.

Who else is helping?

ROB: We've asked the help of some local organizations that are experts in urban farming, one of them is called Restorative Farms. They ended up needing our help and we're happy to because we're partnering with them to use this soil and those pallets and a lot of the other items around here actually, to produce 240 grow boxes for the community.

Learn more about 4DWN Project located in South Dallas and how it’s working with youth to educate and feed a community. Find out about GroBoxes at Restorative Farms, a self-sustaining, nonprofit, farm.

In the middle of a food desert, the 4DWN project has taken the step to transform their skate park into an urban farm. Rob Cahill and crew wear Original 874 Work Pants with Iconic Work Shirts.

Nurses Week with Tessa Moeller

Tessa Moeller is a trauma nurse & artist currently living in Miami, FL. After working her long shifts, she often comes home and creates her works of art.

“I wanted to become a nurse because I wanted to be part of something greater than myself. Painting is a very solo profession, and I wanted to be able to focus on something outside of my own head and help people. I had focused solely on painting for most of my life and I didn’t know if I was able to make the transition into nursing. But once I got started, I knew that I had made the right decision and it was something that I was naturally good at.”

Recently, Tessa has been inspired by her coworkers and the challenges they face with COVID-19. Her current series is titled, Portraits of COVID-19. She hopes to inspire her community to keep going.

collage of collorful artwork showing people wearing face masks

When did you get interested in Art?

TESSA: I have been interested in art for my entire life. My father is a professional artist and had an in home studio, so I was exposed to it early on.

What is your after-work routine?

TESSA: After work I come home, sanitize everything (shoes, pens, etc) for the second time, shower, and have something to eat and then often paint into the night!

What has been the most rewarding part of being a nurse?

TESSA: The most rewarding part of being a nurse is watching patients who came in severely injured become well enough to go home. This was especially true on the burn unit, where patients would stay for months at a time.

Supporting Community and Supplying Demand

Can you tell me a little bit about your companies?

DANIEL WRIGHT: W Durable goods, we make a lot of canvas and leather goods. But we’re a small shop here in Fort Worth, Texas. We make everything in house.

CARL CORDELL: American Canvas, we say custom canvas, but we deal mostly in vinyl goods. So we specialize in rollover truck tarps. Tarps for the trash industry, pool covers. Custom boat covers, and residential and commercial awnings.

What was the driving force to creating masks?

DANIEL WRIGHT: Well, first of all Carl called me because we needed a way to keep our machines running and pay our overhead and keep our people busy. And that was the only thing there was a real demand for. People need it, we can supply it.

CARL CORDELL: That was what my main worry was. You know all of my guys have had at least 40 hours since 2008. And I had told Daniel, I don’t think we’re going to make it. And we wouldn’t have. We wouldn’t be here right now. I just told my wife, we need to find a way to keep this thing going. And then it turned into something that we are happy that we did.

How hard was it to transition to the new production?

DANIEL WRIGHT: It wasn’t that hard to do because we’re already kind of used to cutting and sewing. It did take a couple of days to work out the details. Like how are we going to put it together, and how is the workflow going to go. And I’d say that took at least 2 or 3 days to get tuned.

CARL CORDELL: You don’t realize...you think when you do something 10 times, you don’t really think about “is this the easiest way to do it? Or the fastest way to do it?” If it’s like, you know, in this production line when you’re talking about 10,000, that’s where Daniel and I really started looking and it’s like, the material needs to be here. You know our first day we made 200 masks, and I was like, we’ve got to get it to 500. And then when we hit 500, I’m like, we should really shoot for 1000. Everybody was like, it’s not going to happen, and now we’re at 1300.

two men wearing masks and standing over a table

Left to Right: Daniel Wright with W Durable Goods and Carl Cordell with American Canvas Products

“How Can We Help?”

COVID-19’s impact on local ski areas led Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis to ask this simple question on social media. After receiving a call from their local hospital needing face shields, it was an easy decision to transition their entire production from making skis to making face shields full time.

They overcame material procurement and retooled their entire facility in Boyne City, Michigan. Within one week they began making the lifesaving face and eye shields for healthcare workers and first responders, pushing the pace of their team by producing volumes over 10,000 per week.

Take a look at Shaggy’s story before they readjusted to Covid-19’s impact. We’re proud to call them our friends.

collage of multiple images of a ski shop making plastic face shields, one image for the owners side by side

Giving Back

Fabulous Fort Worth Brought to You by Dickies

In 1922, Dickies began as a hopeful, hardworking small business in the community of Ft. Worth, Texas. Nearly 100 years later, our respect for fellow small business neighbors in our hometown still holds strong.

Recently, Dickies partnered with a few local makers and purchased some of their best, locally-produced gift items. Items in the collection include; Heim BBQ Sauce, Craftwood Coffee, Winton and Waits Bath Salts, Rahr Brewery/Mrs. Renfro’s Salsa, a TX Whiskey Candle, an accessory bag handmade by W Durable Goods, and a Fort Worth Coffee Mug.

This collection of goodies has been sent out to Dickies partners to support local makers during these challenging times and to share our love for Fort Worth.

image collage of various people holding homemade face masks and a Dickies logo in the middle.

GOOD WORKS.

Join Dickies and Triple your support for COVID-19 Relief

Dickies is part of the VF Family of Brands. Join VF and the VF Foundation to fight COVID-19 and aid relief efforts around the world. The foundation has pledged $1.5M and will also match your donations 2-to-1 to the GlobalGiving Coronavirus Relief Fund (up to an additional $500,000) to amplify our collective impact.

Your donation will directly support communities impacted by the pandemic. Together, we can be a force for good.

Donate at GlobalGiving

close up image of a young woman wearing glasses and an orange hardhat

Living Rooms turn into Giving Rooms

When COVID-19 pulled the plug on live gigs, art commissions and film projects within the Ft. Worth creative community, that’s when famous honkytonk Billy Bob’s Texas made history yet again by turning it’s 39th anniversary party into a Facebook watch party—a live benefit concert last month to support the Creative Industry Relief Fund supported by United Way of Tarrant County, Hear Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Film Commission.

The streaming event garnered over 25,000 unique views, showing support and solidarity for the cause. We rallied in support from our living rooms, too, because we know how important it is for creatives to create—especially amidst uncertain times.

“So much of the vibrancy of Fort Worth comes from the makers and shapers of our creative community,” said Craig Errington, Vice President of Marketing, Dickies. “In these challenging times, with events and performances being canceled across the globe to ensure our communities are safe, innovative platforms and fundraising efforts like this are key to keep the creative community moving forward.”

So far, over $20,000 has been raised to support 83 individual grants given to music, film and visual arts professionals, including a corporate donation from Dickies. ICYMI, you can watch the show featuring our proudly local line-up. Donations are still open, and they’d certainly appreciate one from you, if you’re able.

collage of multiple Grady Spencer, Matthew McNeal and Summer Dean performing from their
              homes.

Matthew McNeal and Summer Dean perform from their homes.

DICKIES SHIFTS PRODUCTION TO MANUFACTURE MEDICAL GOWNS

As the battle against COVID-19 rages on, Dickies, A VF Company, is committing to support our hospitals and healthcare workers by producing FDA-compliant, lifesaving, personal protective equipment (PPE). We will work with federal and state government leaders to distribute these isolation gowns nationwide.

“Dickies has stood alongside generations of workers and in light of these unprecedented times, we’re joining in the effort to help healthcare professionals on the frontlines,” said Denny Bruce, Dickies Global Brand President. “As a heritage brand that goes to work, especially when the work gets tough, we are committed to equipping these workers with the critical medical garments they need to protect themselves as they continue the fight against this pandemic.”

At Dickies, we have been committed to championing the dignity of work for nearly a century. We’re not new to shipping production gears to help the greater good. Dating back to World War II, Dickies was sequestered to produce millions of uniforms for the U.S. Armed Forces, and now, in order to help healthcare workers on the front lines of COVID-19, Dickies is leveraging VF Corporation’s nimble supply chain footprint by converting five manufacturing facilities to produce urgently needed PPE garments.

Initial production is underway and is expected to produce and deliver 50,000 gowns by May, with the capacity to make more than 3,400,000 gowns through September.

a graph showing the proposed production of medical gowns from May through Septermber of 2020 a letter from Dickies General Manager at the end of 1941

ABOVE: C.D. Williamson’s message to Dickies employees in 1941 resonates today as we also face the same issues.

collage of multiple images, first is a group of medical employees holding signs that say Stay Home. The second is a World War two era photo of Dickies product made to support the war.

ABOVE: Dickies shipping out WWII uniforms boxes for the U.S. Armed Forces.

Maker Workshops

Make a Fruit Pie with Chef Nini Nguyen

There's no better way to show your appreciation for your favorite essential worker than to gift them with a homemade fruit pie.

To take part, you’ll need the following items:

  • 3 Cups of flour
  • 1 cup + 2T sugar
  • 2 sticks + 2T butter
  • 2lbs fruit of your choice
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 egg
  • salt

Make your own no touch door opener with maker Scott Van Campen

Gift an essential worker on the front line a handmade no touch door opener to help keep them safe.

Shop this look: Heavyweight Gray T-Shirt , Carpenter Duck Jeans

Make Your Own Paint with Artist Thakone Soum

Make your own paint with just your kitchen scraps and create a painting of unity to support our essential workers.

Shop this look: Grey Logo Tee , Denim Bib

Make Your Own Sanitizer with Makers Adina and Marc

Can’t find any sanitizer? Make your own and decorate your bottle to keep you safe or to gift to an essential worker in need. You’ll need: isoprpyl or rubbing alcohol; aloe vera gel; essential oil or lemon juice; an empty bottle; and arts & crafts supplies.

Shop this look: Dickies Men's Logo Tee , Women's Duck Bibs

Make your own 3D Sculpture with Artist Favour Jonathan

Create your own 3D hand sculpture holding a flag of gratitude to our essential workers. You’ll need: cardboard, scissors or scalpel, hot glue gun or superglue, ruler and pencil.

Shop this look: Navy Blue Bib

Make your own plant stand with woodworker Kate Duncan

Create your own plant stand and leave it as a gift on the doorstep of an essential worker in your neighborhood.

Shop this look: Vintage Logo Graphic T-Shirt , Duck Logger Pant

Look for these workshops coming soon