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An Iowa boy is selling baseball bats he makes from fallen trees to raise money for storm victims

November 21, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

After a powerful wind storm struck Iowa in August, the city of Mount Vernon was left covered in fallen trees and other debris.

Using fallen branches, Tommy designed and carved more than 200 baseball bats, which he sold to raise money for victims of the widespread wind storm, known as a derecho.

Tommy came up with the idea on the day of the storm, which happened to be his best friend's birthday.

Knowing Walker Viessman's love for baseball -- and surrounded by fallen trees from the storm -- Tommy decided to gift his friend a hand-carved bat.

Amanda says Tommy made the bat using his grandfather's whittling tools and sand paper, and that he worked until his hands were covered in blisters.

"I didn't expect anything for my birthday, but when Tommy brought me the bat he made me, I was so excited and thankful I have that great of a friend," Viessman told CNN.

"It was so nice of him to spend that much time making me a bat for my birthday. "

After Amanda posted photos of the bat on Facebook, the post went viral and hundreds of people asked if Tommy could make them bats.

Before long, Tommy's parents bought a lathe to help him carve more bats, which he calls "The Great Derecho," and designed a website where he can sell them.

"I wanted to make my friend Walker a bat for his birthday," Tommy said.

I like being able to help, and I'm glad if people don't have money to rebuild they can use some of the money donated from the bats instead. "

His dad then saws the pieces into octagons before Tommy finally lathes them into bats.

"He has put in hundreds of hours into making these bats.

Tommy has a waiting list of more than 600 people who want to buy one of his bats.

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