Talent Maker City works with students to build bed frames for fire victims


TALENT, Or.- For Talent Maker City, working together in the workshop creates so much more than physical projects.

“There’s this sense of resilience and teamwork and collaboration when you’re making things in the shop together,” Program Director Allison French said.

On Sunday, Maker City invited local students to learn how to build bed frames for Almeda Fire victims. To French, the “Rise up and Rebuild” event is an example of how Rogue Valley communities are coming together in the wake of disaster.

“‘Gate Furnishings’ in Grants Pass donated the mattresses, ‘So Creative’ in Ashland is donating quilts, it’s all these organizations coming together to make something happen for people who lost a bed or even more in the fires,” French explained.

Maker City partnered with Portland-based “Girls Build” for the program, which hosts similar workshop events all over the state.

Rene Allen, who works with both organizations, says learning to craft and give back can be impactful for young students.

“Being able to give people beds is one thing but being able to make it with your hands is a whole other level of giving back and providing for your community and being part of something bigger than yourself,” Allen said.

The students who participated know personally just how much a simple bed could mean to those effected by the fires.

“My neighbors actually had their house burn down so thinking that people like them could use it is really nice,” one participant said.

“My dad’s trailer burned down in the fire so its nice to help other people whos houses have burned down,” another student added.

This is the first of many events the workspace will be holding the rest of the year. Maker City members say its important locals continue to give back as the recovery process will take a long time.

“The union of our community is super important to recover faster,” Board of Directors member Laura Quintero said.

“We’re here year round, we aren’t going anywhere, and we are probably going to only be doing more things like this,” French said.

Anyone interested in joining a “Rise Up and Rebuild” event can find more details on their website at TalentMakerCity.org. They also offer a form to request one of their completed beds.

Grace Smith is co-anchor for NBC5 News at 6. The Chicago native is a recent graduate of University of Miami with a Communication Honors degree specializing in Broadcast Journalism. She minored in Creative Writing and focused her senior thesis on social media usage and engagement. During her time at the University of Miami, she anchored multiple award-winning student television programs, covering everything from music festivals to the Super Bowl. Though she loved Miami's beaches, she's thrilled to be in the Pacific Northwest where she can experience all four seasons and have a real Christmas tree! When she’s not at work, you can find Grace glued to any television showing live sports (especially if it's the Chicago Bears) or attempting a new recipe as she learns to cook.
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