BRAINTREE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A Braintree man is turning other people's trash into someone else's treasure, and it's all for a good cause.
Stan Dobowolski runs a side project called Freedom Flagz out of the second bedroom in his home in Braintree, where he takes old and discarded wood pallets in things like American Flags, Toys, and Furniture. He told WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe he's happy to give these pallets second life by turning them into something special.
"Pallets have nails, they have knots, they have what some people would consider to be undesirable," he said. "To me, that's character."
Dobowolski got into woodworking after helping out his uncle, who used to make wooden toys in Saugus. He's turned those skills into his passion project, which has led him to carve different flags, military branches, and more into the wood, along with making some fun and unique toys.
"I introduced a ping pong [ball] launcher, a little handheld toy that has a clothespin on the top and an elastic and it launches the ball," he said. "That's become my No. 1 seller this entire summer."
Dobowolski donates ten percent of all of the proceeds from Freedom Flagz to a charity called Caring Hands, which helps feed the hungry worldwide. He said getting to help people in need is one of his favorite parts about the work.
"The satisfaction I get is knowing that I'm helping somebody else," he said. "What I am doing is improving somebody else's life."
He sells his various creations at different farmer's markets across Eastern Massachusetts.
WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports.