At Hallmark Nameplate, we take great pride in the quality of our work and the expertise we have mastered over the last 55 years. However, another great part of our business that we have do not always have the opportunity to show our customers is our employees, who are dedicated not just to their job in the workplace, but also to others outside of work.
Oscar Morris, one of our outstanding Hallmark employees has recently been acknowledged from Channel 6 news in Orlando for his work with veterans; specifically, his construction and distribution of custom canes for veterans in need. Hallmark is a veteran-owned company and has many employees who are veterans as well, and this could be one of many veteran spotlights on our blog.
Morris is a United States Navy veteran, and customizes each cane that he makes, filling the need of the specific veteran he’s creating for, and brands the cane with a penny from the year that particular veteran enlisted in the military. This certainly makes the cane not only fully functional for the veteran in question, but the nice touch of personalization with the penny speaks to his dedication to quality and to the pride he takes in his work and pleasing the recipients of these wonderful pieces. The materials, mainly the trees themselves, come both from the community as well as over 200 trees that were recently donated from Lowe’s.
Recently, he was recognized by the media for personally handing his first cane to a Korean War veteran, who has been patiently waiting three months to get his new walking cane. Morris was beyond pleased with the reaction from the veteran he visited because he doesn’t usually hand-deliver the canes to his “customers”. Mailing them out is very different, and being able to see their reaction through their face is priceless, as Morris said in the news piece. It’s certainly not the same as getting a response through email!
While this project is somewhat new to him, Morris has been making art out of wood since he was a child, so you could say that he’s been “training” for this his whole life. His inspiration began back in September, when he came across a strong broken tree limb, and decided to make a cane out of it.
Morris knew how difficult it could be for veterans to walk, considering he is a Navy veteran himself and comes from a long line of veterans. After making his first cane out of that broken tree limb, he brought it to his local doctor’s office and received a positive response from other veterans who were there. People certainly loved it.
From there, Morris took to the internet to spread the word around about what he was trying to do. He created a Facebook page called “Free Canes for Veterans ‘How to’” and interacts very regularly with those who post on his page with questions, requests, and all sorts of other information about his accomplishments. Just a few short days after creating the Facebook page for his cause, the internet went wild and Morris began receiving hundreds of orders.
People on his Facebook page seem to be doing one of several things: watching his “how to” videos (he recently posted one about how to repurpose your Christmas tree by making a cane), requesting a cane, or inquiring about trees or materials that they would like to donate. It’s safe to say that the community is definitely attesting to the kindness and quality Morris displays on his page and in his wooden canes.
Since his Facebook page began and he has received so many requests, Morris has recruited four of his friends to assist in making the canes and help run his Facebook page. With all the requests, Morris has had to stop taking orders in order to catch up to the 500 ones that have already been placed, and after that, their strategy is to continue making canes for combat-related veterans moving forward.
Hallmark Nameplate is proud to have Oscar Morris as a part of their community, and as a veteran-owned and run company, we are thrilled to see one of our own take their skills and attention to quality and care that we put into our products and apply that same strategy to help those in need.