Steward Spotlight - Sarah P
Sarah has been a faithful Steward since fall of 2016.
Tell us about yourself?
I travel around Central Oregon taking care of pets and homes. When I’m
not at work, creating commissioned fiber art, interior decorating/
landscaping, studying for online courses or stewarding at DIYcave. I am
having love affairs with running on river trails, ice skating at The Pavilion,
hiking up or flying down a mountain on foot, snowshoes, cross country
skiing depending on the season, car camping/backpacking in beautiful
places, weight training for the Pacific Crest Trail challenge…music and
visual art at local in-town gatherings.
I need the outside world. I love the mountains and getting out to see as
much as I absolutely can while I’m on this spinning rock. I enjoy, truly
enjoy, the relationship I engage and have developed with the land over the years, as well as connecting with others—both human and 4-legged—and with the natural world, whether it is introducing others to new things for the first time or helping someone reinforce and solidify their connection with the natural world.
What’s your role at the Cave?
I manage the shop class/workshop/private instruction schedule for DIYcave.
Why did you become a Steward?
DIYcave empowers people by providing a safe environment, tools, expert guidance and teaching skills that people like me didn’t have a chance to learn. Each new skill learned (since July 2016) awakens the creative spirit within me. When I step in the cave, I feel the creative vibes instantly and love seeing the sparkles in all the makers.
DIYcave is all volunteer run. It opens when people are willing/committed to be there to open the doors. I’m thrilled for an opportunity to give back in a small way.
What is your favorite part of being a Steward?
Each day brings new excitements. New projects. New ideas. Each day I’m here, I learn, grow, and serve a purpose—delivering impact. It’s powerful.
DIYcave contributes more than space, resources, time and money. Their ideas, volunteer power, openness to educate, inspire, & empower…are are a key component in helping build stronger communities. I’m a part of it all along with the owners and other Stewards—delivering impact, my favorite part of being a Steward.
What’s your favorite skill you’ve learned as a Steward?
Handyman skills such as basic plumbing, light fixtures/door/cabinet repair, gardening, landscaping, and so on. As a housesitter and housekeeper in my “day job” these skills have been very handy in cases of leaking faucets and other issues that have occurred.
Since you’ve been a Steward for a while, what are some of your favorite changes you’ve witnessed?
Total transformation of DIYcave and creation of “The Village”—9th Street Village. The addition of DIYcave Annex, the Tech Room and Machine Shop. Giving birth to unique, inviting coworking, maker/artist studio spaces in SE side of Bend. The new food truck pod and Brewery oasis in town.
What is your favorite project you witnessed while spending time at DIYcave?
Mega documentary installation to be unveiled and permanently housed in Bend Rock Gym, Bend, Oregon.
What advice would you give someone who wants to join DIYcave and start a project?
DIYcave has truly created a strong culture and helped to shape the maker community. No matter the task owners, Stewards, and members are eager to help. Everyone here is highly engaged and excited to see you/your project idea succeed. Jump right in.
Stewards are vital to DIYcave! Meet Sarah and read about how the Cave has inspired Sarah to tackle challenges in her life, giving her confidence.
How did you learn about the cave?
I’m a friend of Annie Willis through the homeschooled community years ago and have been “following” the cave activities before its grand opening. It’s been a fascination of mine after seeing demonstrations at a couple of open house/outreach events last year, but, didn’t figure out how I may fit in or use the facility until last summer.
Why did you become a steward?
I love volunteering, sharing my passion, and enabling others to explore and experience new adventures. It’s incredibly satisfying. Volunteering in the community changes my life from being purely self-centered to being a person with meaning for others too.
While going through some drastic changes and personal struggles last year, I pledged to take on “face my fear” challenge in May. The first challenge was liberating. To keep the momentum, I decided to rebuild a transmission. DIYCave was the perfect solution and the only safe place that’s viable for me carrying out and meet my second challenge.
The makerspace is relentlessly fun and deceptively educational. The encouraging principals, knowledgeable stewards, and its members are always ready to show me the ropes, demonstrate how I may use the close-knit community to educate myself and others.
Unlike other volunteer experience I’ve had, no one was there to hold my hands. However, everyone shares ways with me how to gain information to accomplish a new task. No one ever makes me feel incapable, incompetent, or insignificant. I love being in the cave, on or off shift.
Being a stewardess here, it takes me out of my daily life and teaches me something new every day–let it be a new skill or interacting with the different type of people than I normally hang out in my social circles.
What is your favorite part about being a steward?
People gather to share resources and knowledge, work independently, network, and build tangible inspiring products.
Initially, it’s about learning something new and acquire skills that I’m lack–not so much to help others as I’m a novice in this arena–but to gain some perspective about my life and strength. In the end, much to my surprise, the folks at DIYCave made me feel I’ve accomplished both.
I like having my comfort zone stretched and expanded. I walk away often feeling I’m empowered with needed vehicles and that I’ve achieved something positive with my day–no matter how insignificant it may be.
What has been your favorite project you’ve been able to witness?
If I must choose, it would be a cyclist turns his Element into a multifunctional, versatile “tiny home.” The unit serves as a bike rack, adjustable storage cabinets, work table, fold-out platform bed, and more.
Favorite skills learned at DIYCave?
Having a second chance to take “woodshop” at my late age, I love to get my hands on every tool in the shop and know how to use it. The table saw and hand sander are two of my favorite go-to tools so far. I’m not proficient yet with any of them, but, I gain confidence with each use. My to-do list is growing faster than I can keep up.
Come Spring, my focus will be re-directed back to rebuilding a transmission, possible replacing a carburetor, gutting out a motor home acquired back in September and designing a conducive personal living space I dream to create.
I’ve come to realize this voyage has a universal appeal far beyond what I ever imagined when I began. I look forward to the remarkable cave’s expansion and unexpected discoveries and many DIY adventures in the months to come. My motto? It’s never too late or too old to learn a new skill. Be inspired. Be empowered.