CORAL SPRINGS, FL – During the coronavirus quarantine, a 16-year-old Coral Springs teen discovered a passion for carpentry, turning his family’s garage into a wood-crafting business.
At around the same time, Oren Snyder, also watched painfully on TV as protesters discredited police officers across the nation following the killing of George Floyd.
So Snyder turned his new interest and frustrations into a project: he made a wooden "thin blue line" flag, which represents solidarity for law enforcement officers.
This week, he personally delivered it to the top brass at Coral Springs Police Department.
“There’s so much hate toward the police right now,” he said. “I wanted to do something nice and show them that people support them.”
It took Snyder about a day-and-a-half to make the nearly 12-pound wooden flag with black, white, and blue stripes with tools he has purchased in recent weeks as he built his wood shop in the garage.
The wooden flag, he said, now hangs on the wall of the police conference room where officers meet daily.
“It’s an honor for it to be there so everyone can see it,” said Snyder, who wants to be a fish and wildlife officer when he grows up.
For Coral Springs Police Chief Clyde Parry, the wooden flag meant something special, too.
“We are truly blessed to have citizens who support us,” Parry said in a social media post.
Snyder, who is going into 11th grade at Ben Gamla Preparatory Academy in Hollywood, is now making similar wooden flags, as well as wooden American flags and “thin red line” wooden flags in honor of firefighters and paramedics, for customers through his Etsy page (CowboysWorkshop). He’s got three orders.
His interest in wood-crafting came from working on projects with his late grandfather. But other than that, he said he learned the basics by watching YouTube and other videos.
His mother, Suzanne Rosen-Snyder, watched Oren’s hobby take off as he sat home during the quarantine with nothing else to do.
She said he slowly acquired tools and began making wooden cheese dishes, cutting boards, and eventually flags after watching footage of protesters attacking police officers in the nationwide movement against police brutality.
Rosen-Snyder, who works at Chabad of Coral Springs, said Chabad of Coral Springs' Executive Director Avraham Friedman was able to use his contacts at the police department to get Oren to meet with Parry and Deputy Chiefs Brad McKeone and Shawn Backer and presented them with his wooden flag.
“I know all parents think their kids are amazing, but I was really touched by what Oren did," she said. “He is brave to make the flag. It’s so easy at age 16 to just go with the crowd.”
Oren said he’s planning to keep making wooden crafts for sale for as long as there’s a demand for them.
And, he said, he’ll look for other ways to support police through his new skills.
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