null Skip to main content
Walking Tall on The Local Social

Walking Tall on The Local Social

Posted by Grange Co-op on 27th Feb 2023

The future can be daunting; especially for young men across the Rogue Valley. Each day youth in our communities are faced with choices, sometimes life changing, without a clear roadmap of where these decisions may lead. This is a clear need that was identified by Walking Tall, a local non-profit serving young men across the valley. Walking Tall aims to provide support and guidance, allowing the future to become much less daunting. Through the mentorship program provided by Walking Tall, this non-profit is giving young men the skills and resources they need to transform their lives. 

Mentees and mentors of Walking Tall come from a variety of backgrounds including; youth juvenile detention programs, treatment programs, churches, homes seeking wisdom and much more. No matter what life outside of Walking Tall may look like for these young men, when they are here, they know they belong.  

Walking Tall was established 10 years ago to address a need for structure and respect among young men in southern Oregon. Founders Tom and Judy Smurzynski shared the name “Walking Tall” embodies the organization’s mission of helping young men walk a path with pride, respect, hard work, and integrity. The program is currently serving around 50 mentees and has produced many successful graduates who now serve as junior and senior mentors. 

These young men ranging from 7th-12th grade gather to learn Woodworking, Computer CAD Design, Automotive, horticulture and the importance of respect and a firm handshake. These activities are designed to teach the young men valuable skills, as well as the business behind the work they are doing. One of the projects led by Walking Tall takes place in the woodshop where members build a variety redwood furniture pieces and redwood planter boxes.

These planter boxes are sold at our Grange Co-op retail locations. These planters are showcasing the skills and hard work of young men from our communities. Not only do the mentees learn valuable woodworking skills, but they also learn about the business aspect of what they are building. By selling these planter boxes, the mentees can apply what they've learned and gain real-life experience in the field of woodworking. The sale of these planter boxes helps support the Walking Tall program and allows it to continue its mission of preparing young men for their futures.  

Grange Co-op is proud to support youth, mentorship and hard work across our communities. Walking Tall's mentorship program is one of the many organizations that fills our communities with positive change. If you'd like to support young men across southern Oregon, stop into your local Grange Co-op and browse our selection of Walking Tall's planter boxes. You'll not only be supporting a great cause, but you'll also be adding a beautiful and functional piece to your garden.