Steward spotlight: Sarah

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Stewards are vital to DIYcave! Meet Sarah and read about how the Cave has inspired Sarah to tackle challenges in her life, giving her confidence.

How did you learn about the cave?
I’m a friend of Annie Willis through the homeschooled community years ago and have been “following” the cave activities before its grand opening. It’s been a fascination of mine after seeing demonstrations at a couple of open house/outreach events last year, but, didn’t figure out how I may fit in or use the facility until last summer.
Why did you become a steward?
I love volunteering, sharing my passion, and enabling others to explore and experience new adventures. It’s incredibly satisfying. Volunteering in the community changes my life from being purely self-centered to being a person with meaning for others too.

While going through some drastic changes and personal struggles last year, I pledged to take on “face my fear” challenge in May. The first challenge was liberating. To keep the momentum, I decided to rebuild a transmission. DIYCave was the perfect solution and the only safe place that’s viable for me carrying out and meet my second challenge.

The makerspace is relentlessly fun and deceptively educational. The encouraging principals, knowledgeable stewards, and its members are always ready to show me the ropes, demonstrate how I may use the close-knit community to educate myself and others.

Unlike other volunteer experience I’ve had, no one was there to hold my hands. However, everyone shares ways with me how to gain information to accomplish a new task. No one ever makes me feel incapable, incompetent, or insignificant. I love being in the cave, on or off shift.

Being a stewardess here, it takes me out of my daily life and teaches me something new every day–let it be a new skill or interacting with the different type of people than I normally hang out in my social circles.

What is your favorite part about being a steward?
People gather to share resources and knowledge, work independently, network, and build tangible inspiring products.

Initially, it’s about learning something new and acquire skills that I’m lack–not so much to help others as I’m a novice in this arena–but to gain some perspective about my life and strength. In the end, much to my surprise, the folks at DIYCave made me feel I’ve accomplished both.

I like having my comfort zone stretched and expanded. I walk away often feeling I’m empowered with needed vehicles and that I’ve achieved something positive with my day–no matter how insignificant it may be.

What has been your favorite project you’ve been able to witness?
If I must choose, it would be a cyclist turns his Element into a multifunctional, versatile “tiny home.” The unit serves as a bike rack, adjustable storage cabinets, work table, fold-out platform bed, and more.

Favorite skills learned at DIYCave?
Having a second chance to take “woodshop” at my late age, I love to get my hands on every tool in the shop and know how to use it. The table saw and hand sander are two of my favorite go-to tools so far. I’m not proficient yet with any of them, but, I gain confidence with each use. My to-do list is growing faster than I can keep up.

Come Spring, my focus will be re-directed back to rebuilding a transmission, possible replacing a carburetor, gutting out a motor home acquired back in September and designing a conducive personal living space I dream to create.

I’ve come to realize this voyage has a universal appeal far beyond what I ever imagined when I began. I look forward to the remarkable cave’s expansion and unexpected discoveries and many DIY adventures in the months to come. My motto? It’s never too late or too old to learn a new skill. Be inspired. Be empowered.

Inspired by Sarah’s story? Volunteer to be a steward at DIYcave.

One Response to "Steward spotlight: Sarah"
  1. Amy VanAcker says:

    Love you Sarah! Miss seeing you in quilting circles (because I’m so darn busy) and at the cave! Hope this spring brings me out more!

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