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Upper St. Clair Resident Touches Lives with Wooden Birds

Meet Tom Parker.

The Friendship Village of South Hills' Tom Parker. Photo provided.
The Friendship Village of South Hills' Tom Parker. Photo provided.

Tom Parker, a resident at Friendship Village of South Hills in Upper St. Clair Township, is touching lives one wooden bird at a time.

According to a news release, Parker has been carving the intricate wooden birds as tokens of support for fellow residents at Friendship Village's Health Center.

Parker, 80, started whittling at a young age and took a class in 1980 that turned his hobby into a passion for woodcarving. And this past year, when he saw a magazine article about a woodcarver who creates wooden "comfort birds" for people who need a little extra support, he began carving his own.

"The article inspired me to use my favorite hobby for good," Parker says. "It's something I truly like doing, and seeing my work so appreciated by residents who need the support makes it that much more satisfying."

Parker, who has lived in the community's independent living area for four years, is no stranger to helping his fellow residents and doing a variety of charitable acts. The resident woodcarver has become so popular with the residents at Friendship Village that he has even held demonstrations of how he carves the birds out of wood.

Recently, Parker has expanded his woodcarving into making book holders for the Health Center's residents. The book holders allow residents with arthritis or other ailments to adjust the height and angle of a book without having to hold it on their own.

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