Magic City Woodworks: Teaching the Art of Work

Category: Impact-First, nonprofit

Area of work/impact: discipleship, education

How to engage: shop, donate

A charity with an earned-revenue model, Magic City Woodworks helps young men bridge the intimidating gap between idleness and meaningful employment. Launched in a one-car garage with donated tools and volunteers, Magic City quickly grew into an organization housed in a 12,000-square-foot shop in the heart of downtown Birmingham. They offer a one-year paid apprenticeship to young men who find themselves at the crossroads of unemployment; and apprentices are trained to be teachable, to gain character, and to gain skills that will serve them in future employment.

Founder, Lawrence Sheffield explains, "I believe that an honest day of work is a gift from God. Magic City Woodworks was created to help young men discover that vocation is a beautiful thing. We use our workshop to help young men find purpose. Our ultimate goal is to point men to Christ." Hear more in their own words.

Your Opportunity to Engage

Magic City Woodworks covers its expenses through equal parts product sales and donations. If you'd like to do a little Christmas shopping or consider donating to their cool mission, visit their website at

The Founder

Lawrence Sheffield is the Founder and Executive Director of Magic City Woodworks. He is from Birmingham, where he resides with his wife, Frances. For the last 9 years, Lawrence has been a professional firefighter/paramedic. He enjoys working with his hands, team building, woodworking, and social entrepreneurship. Lawrence is passionate about creating and sustaining positive working experiences for young men to help them grow in their faith, self confidence, and professional opportunities.