12-year-old English woodworker from Cumbria used his woodworking skill to raise over $270K to help Ukrainian children.
At the age of three or four, Gabriel Clark fell in love with woodworking. It all started when his mother, an artist, gifted him with his grandfather’s hammer.
“I’ve always had a real passion for it,” Gabriel said, “and I’ve just taught myself everything I know.”
Through his Instagram account, Gabriel posted about his craftsmanship, trying to sell wooden bowls, and cutting boards so he could save up for a mountain bike.
Seeing that Gabriel was struggling to gain traction with his dream of woodworking full time, his father, Richard Clark, tweeted about his son’s woodwork.
“Lovely twitter people – I don’t know how many of you are also #instagram users but I’m looking for a wee favour,” the tweet read. “I’ve a 12yr old who loves woodwork. He spends hours on his lathe making bowls and creating chopping boards which he’s sells to save up for a mountain bike.”
Lovely twitter people – I don't know how many of you are also #instagram users but I'm looking for a wee favour. I've a 12yr old who loves woodwork. He spends hours on his lathe making bowls and creating chopping boards which he's sells to save up for a mountain bike. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/Ny60rFf1TE
— Richard R Clark 🇺🇦 (@rclarkie) March 25, 2022
“So I was wondering if any of you fancied giving him a boost and following him on Instagram at clarkie_woodwork it would make his day,” the tweet ended.
The post went viral and thousands of orders for custom bowls poured in. Since the massive boost in sales, Gabriel’s followers have also increased to over 200,000 within two days.
After the war in Ukraine broke out, Gabriel knew he needed to do something. He decided to use his popularity to help Ukrainian children fleeing the country. The talented craftsman launched a raffle for one of his handmade bowls etched with a blue and yellow ring to raise money for the children.
Those who entered into the raffle were asked to donate to Save the Children – a humanitarian organization that helps children in need. Thousands of people entered the raffle and Gabriel saw funding climb to over $270K. The winner was selected at random on April 17 at 6pm.
“We have a winner!!” Gabriel posted on his Instagram. “We feel we shouldn’t say who until they agree but we can say that the winner was on page 940 donor 8! My Bowl For Ukraine has a new home.”
The set goal for the raffle was raising around $6,500. He’s very amazed and proud of himself for how he was able to get this done.
“I want to know that I can make other children’s lives better by doing a little bit of something in my own life,” he added.
The woodworking star has gained a lot of online support from the public. He even garnered support from celebrities such as Stephen Fry and actor Jason Isaacs. Gabriel’s mother, Teresa McCann Clark, has expressed her pride in her son.
“He’s talented, he’s creative,” she said, “but more than anything, he’s got a big heart.
On Instagram and Twitter posts, Gabriel and his father have thanked donors who have helped support the raffle.
Gabriel responded in a video stating: “I can’t say anything but thank you.”
Richard added: “Thank you, kind Twitter people, for all you have done. Your big-hearted generosity has shone a light in these dark times and has changed young lives – not least Gabriel’s.”
Gabriel’s talent has brought so much needed majic into the world and we hope he’ll bring some more in the future.