Two local brothers are working to brighten up the community – and support a couple of terrific causes – during the ongoing impact of COVID-19.
Porter and Clay Kneeland, who live on an acreage south of Stettler, have been constructing hydro-dipped birdhouses – eye-catching, very colourful creations that the boys are selling and donating the proceeds from to two worthy causes.
To date, 54 have been sold at $20 a piece, and the boys aren’t slowing down any time soon. It’s proven to be an ideal activity to help fill up the days with school being out as well.
Clay, 17, has chosen to donate his funds to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation on behalf of his good friend Brooke Mulgrove.
He also explained that they guys felt it would be a great project to help spread some positivity during these challenging days where so much as been affected by the pandemic.
“We wanted to show that you don’t have to be down in this situation – you can also be good-hearted and happy, too,” he said, adding he had started originally building the birdhouses back in Kindergarten.
“We thought maybe that if we painted them in a certain way to make them look cool, we could give the money (we raised) away to charity,” he said.
As to the hydro-dipping process, the boys use oil-based spray paints and come up with all kinds of brilliantly-coloured, intricate and incredible designs.
The paints are sprayed on the surface of water in a container, and then the birdhouses are lowered into it and come up with all kinds of unique blends of colours and designs. “The water acts with pressure and kind of pushes the paints onto the sides of the birdhouse,” explains Clint, the boy’s father.
“You never know what kind of patterns you are going to get. Every house turns out in a totally unique way and looking very cool.”
He also wanted to thank the staff of Stettler Building Supplies which is donating a couple sheets of plywood for more birdhouses to be made and distributed. “It’s helping out the community and some causes that are near and dear to us, too.”
Porter, 10, said he has really enjoyed the project because it’s a way to give back to the community.
“It’s making people happy,” he said, adding that he has chosen to donate his funds to the Stettler Housing Authority on behalf of his late grandmother Pat Kneeland, who once worked for the authority.
Porter also wants to help with the purchase of masks and gloves to help staff in their work with senior clients, too.
Meanwhile, Clint said the idea stems back to when local kids in Kindergarten would go in and build birdhouses with building construction classes at the high school.
Initially, the family had some at home and decided to paint them, and the results – as mentioned – were tremendous. “We thought we should build some more of these and give them out to some friends.” The more that people have seen them, the more demand has gone up as well.
“The kids were having fun with it, so we thought we would sell them and give the funds to charity – whichever ones they chose,” he said, adding the boys sold 53 birdhouses in about four hours. “We are getting another 30 pre-ordered here, so we will start building again.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about the birdhouses or how to purchase one can call the Kneeland family at 403-741-9978.