By now, we hope you have concluded that what Men's Sheds do is important to our members and to our communities. You might even be moved to ask how you can help.
Some things are obvious, but many are not, so let's talk about a few:
Sheds are a collection of mostly but not entirely retired guys.
What is common among our members is they have:
- time available,
- a lifetime of experience to share,
- some skills and a bit of wisdom to offer,
- but no forum in which to share it.
Sheds give us a place to make friends, share skills, do good work for the community, avoid depression from loneliness and feel useful again.
We are the product of our time.
Fifty to ninety years ago, when our characters were formed, we were taught: "Be a Man," don't complain, suck it up, overcome hardships and get it done. We were taught to suffer quietly, to show no weakness, and to be the protectors and providers of our families. For those of you who rode with me in a pre-GPS era, this resulted in no man asking for directions… ever. As a result, reduced capacity and engagement do not sit well with us.
We are uncomfortable admitting, even to ourselves, that we need help. We are even more uncomfortable asking for help. It makes us cringe to sit in a circle and share our feelings. That sort of therapy does not work for us. Instead, we need to work with other men on a shared project and, through that shared work, share a bit of ourselves, slowly, reluctantly and painfully.
Sheds are our therapy, where we are prepared to take care of ourselves. Provide us with an old building, and we will fix it up to our needs, populate it with used tools and rebuild things from old wood and cast-off products.
Sheds are usually cash-poor and capacity rich.
So for most Sheds, it is the lack of a place to build the workshop that holds us back. If we can access an old building, we can take care of the rest ourselves.
You can help our Sheds by:
- by pointing them to that unused old shack or connecting with the keepers of those facilities.
- spreading the word of the Men's Shed movement, so Men who are in need can find us or form their own Shed with a bit of encouragement from Men's Sheds Ontario.
- sending Sheds socially positive projects that need doing and are within their capacity to deliver.
- donating your unused tools or surplus building materials to our cause.
- helping yourself. Join us when the time is right for you.
- send a little cash.
You can help Men's Sheds Canada:
All of the above is for our Sheds, but what Men's Sheds Canada needs are introductions to the powers in Canada and the potential funding organizations for our Sheds.
Remember, Men's Sheds Canada (MSC) is an Association of cash-poor Sheds. We need to run our national organization without being a burden on the Sheds at the grassroots level, who are doing good work with lots of enthusiasm but with very little cash themselves. So to avoid becoming that burden, any donations to MSC, large and small, will always be appreciated.
We are designed to need very little cash to run our operations. We have no offices. We have no employees. We are a collection of experienced Shedders working to coordinate and start new Sheds.