JWC kicks off silent auction for student-made American wood flags

In celebration of Veterans Day, the Jewel Wietzel Center (JWC) has launched a silent auction for 10 unique, student-made American wood flags on Nov. 4-8.

Students in the Harlandale Opportunities for Post-Secondary (HOPS) Program and Transition Program worked together to carefully handcraft each piece over the past two months. JWC Teacher Estevan Salinas spearheaded this project to allow his special needs students an opportunity to learn new skills, explore their creativity and give back to the community.

“Our students here have no means of self-expression, so this project allows them to create something meaningful and creative to honor our veterans, offering them a strong emotional connection,” Salinas said. “In the process, they’ve gained fine motor skills, prevocational skills, instructional step-by-step skills, trade skills, teamwork skills and safety skills.”

Salinas added that students were excited to be a part of every step of the project, from collecting the donated wood scraps from local construction sites to sanding and cutting the wood to hand-drawing the stars and nailing each piece of wood together.

“Our goal is for them to have a feeling of accomplishment,” Salinas said. “They understand what they’re doing, and it gives them a purpose.”

Each flag will also feature its own number and tell the story behind the student who helped make it. 

JWC Principal Jennifer Bernal-Tamaren has enjoyed seeing the students taking pride in their work.

“This project is so special,” she said. “It makes them feel proud about creating something that is valuable, instilling worth within them and belief in them of what they can accomplish, and to me, that’s what it’s all about. It teaches them that kindness is its own reward.”

The bidding is officially open and can be accessed online at [Auction Ended].

Each bid will start at $50 and can be increased in $5 increments. The 10 highest bids will be selected as winners to each receive one flag. 

All the proceeds raised will help fund future student activities at the JWC.

All submissions must be made by noon on Friday, Nov. 8. Winners will be announced on Monday, Nov. 11.

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