A 93-Year-old Veteran Whittling Walking Sticks Has Raised $16,000 For Food Pantry

When the going gets tough, the tough keep going, or at least that’s what you do when you’re a 93-year-old retired Air Force Colonel—and John Hobson likes to keep busy.

Courtesy of John Hobson

“If he just got put somewhere and told him to sit down, he’d go crazy,” his son Mark Hobson, told WKEF-TV.

In 2020, Hobson occupied himself by handcrafting close to 100 walking sticks, the proceeds of which, he donated to a local Ohio charity outreach group, the Xenia Area Fish Food Pantry.

“He’s just a sweet man who gives a darn about other folks who don’t have [anything],” Mark Hobson said.

To sell his wares, Hobson set up a roadside stand in his front yard. The price was beyond reasonable: $3.00 each, or a food pantry donation.

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Not surprisingly, the senior whittling-wonder was sold out in just a few days, having earned about $600.

Wanting to do more, Hobson and his family set up a GoFundMe page which has since raised $9,565 in cash for the Xenia Area Fish Food Pantry. All told, donations from the sale of the walking sticks, the GoFundMe campaign, and additional donations made in Hobson’s name total close to $16,000.

“Thank you for doing a very kind thing to make Grandpa happy and to make a difference for so many in our community,” Hobson’s granddaughter Jenny Denen wrote. “We have been so touched by your kindness and generosity.”

“We have been told by the pantry that a $1 donation generates five pounds of food. That means that we have helped the pantry be able to distribute about 40 tons of food to the Xenia community! What a massive blessing to those in need during this very difficult time.

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Staying busy is certainly one factor that keeps Hobson hard at work, but his main motivation is likely more simple. He says knowing that he’s still able to help others in need in a meaningful way just makes him feel good.

(You can watch the video from WKEF news, here)

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