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Comfort Birds: Al Adaskin’s Contribution

September 9, 2022

Al Adaskin, a resident of Beatrice Place, has been an avid bird watcher and artist for over 25 years. Beginning with nature walks, camera in hand, Al would observe several avian varieties while capturing them on film to later turn into stunning sculptures. In addition, Al has connected with the Genesee Valley Wood Carvers Club and fellow carvers at the Greece Community Senior Center. As a result, Al has made hundreds of carved wooden sculptures between these two groups called Comfort Birds. These small, smooth birds easily fit in one hand and are lightweight. The idea behind the creation of Comfort Birds was to give dialysis patients something comforting to hold while sitting through treatments for hours at a time.

Since the creation of the birds, they expanded outside of dialysis patients to anyone in stressful situations who could use an extra source of relaxation. Over the years, Al has tried different types of wood with various carving methods, finishes and lacquers. Most recently, the Genesee Valley Carvers Club made hundreds to send to the children and families of those affected by the Uvalde school shooting.

These tiny yet powerful symbols of hope and peace are shining examples of how to give back to the community. Al says, “the point is to never charge for them. We want to give them away as a comforter.” Each bird is unique, yet they all come with a tag that reads, “When cares and worry have caused you stress, it’s time to sit and take a rest. This little bird within your hands will help you forget all of life’s demands. The wood feels good and so smooth to rub; it gives you peace and comfort as from above.”

 

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