Unique project helps veterans

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DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — People came up with some unique hobbies in 20-20, but one veteran’s downtime gave him a chance to help other veterans. The result is positively Central Illinois.

Clyde Smith was bored during the Covid-19 pandemic when everyone was on lockdown, so he decided to do something with his time. Now, he’s hoping to raise some money from it.

“I just started with a puzzle and then I just went from there,” Clyde Smith said.

Meet Clyde Smith. He’s a veteran living at Cannon Place on the Danville’s VA campus. When the pandemic forced people to quarantine, Smith found a new way to stay busy.

“I just started with popsicle sticks and glue,” Smith said.

During lockdown, Smith stayed active by creating a log cabin. He would search for sticks outside and use popsicle sticks, some from his ice cream bars. What started as a puzzle, formed to a masterpiece.

“You got to wait for the glue to set. So you can only work about 20 minutes at a time and then you just got to back off or it collapses,” Smith said.

Around 9 months later, he finished Clyde’s Cabin.

“Its actually twice as hard as a regular house to build cause its so flimsy and popsicle sticks. Its time consuming,” Smith said.

Smith says he’s helped build over 21 homes in his lifetime. The property manager of Cannon’s Place, Terry LaBounty, says the details inside the home make it even more impressive.

“Everything was built in building code compliance, from the floor joist to the rafters, to the studs in the walls, to the windows,” Terry LaBounty said.

Now, Clyde’s Cabin is up for auction on eBay. They are hoping to see it raise money for the veterans, for things like a new grill and umbrellas for outside.

“I want to help everybody that I can. I don’t really want nothing, maybe a grill set up on the bottom floor that everybody can use it too so that’s all I want,” Smith said.

While Smith is hopeful this one raises money, he’s excited for his next log cabin to be even bigger and better than this one.

“The next one’s going to be twice as good. Its already pretty well in process. It’d be something to see,” Smith said.

Smith hopes that if enough money is raised they can donate extra money for veterans or the food bank. He also says his next cabin will be two stories, have a fireplace, closets and a cathedral roof.

Here’s the link to the eBay auction:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/124829175247

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