Friends of the Carpenter was incorporated in Vancouver, WA on October 26, 1998 and received 501(c)3, IRS non-profit status in March of 1999. Rev. Duane L. Sich, the organization’s founder, served as Executive Director and Chairman of the Board of Directors for 15 years.
Friends of the Carpenter began as a vision of a practical outreach of simple welcome and personal interaction between volunteers from the church and the poor. First Presbyterian Church, where Rev. Sich served as Associate Pastor for 28 years, granted him a six-month sabbatical to do research and if the way be clear, establish this new ministry. The initial workspace began in the Sich’s home, using a spare bedroom as the FOC office and the 3rd bay of the garage and Duane’s tools as the original woodwork shop.
Since the beginning, regular contact has been made with the homeless and poor persons of our community through the woodworking events scheduled at Share House Men’s Emergency Shelter, events held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, and at the Friendship Center.
In 2004, Jack & Jane Artz made a major donation which allowed FOC to purchase the current Friendship Center consisting of 18,000 sq. ft., including a 5 room office complex, which was dedicated on May 2nd, 2004 and continues to be our home! Until this time, like those we serve, FOC was essentially homeless as well, which gave ample empathy and example of how having support from friends and a home can make ALL THE DIFFERENCE. Thanks Be To God!