The Blue Ox Village Programs for Veterans & Youth

Blue Ox Historic Village

Greetings and welcome to the Blue Ox Historic Village GoFundMe Campaign! We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit located on the shores of Humboldt Bay in Northern California focusing on the promotion of traditional craftsmanship. The goal of our GoFundMe Campaign is to raise funds to support our educational programs for teens, Veterans and the public. 

My name is Viviana Hollenbeck, my husband Eric and I started working informally with kids in 1973 and over time our passion for the healing power of craftsmanship led us to create highly successful hands-on programs for both youth and veterans. This mission, of more than 45 years, has been primarily financed through our family business the  Blue Ox Millworks. In 2014 we created the-not-for-profit Blue Ox Historic Village to sustain and expand these much loved programs.

And that’s why we are here with you today!

Veterans Program

The first project of the Veterans program was the building of the Lincoln Hearse replica in 2015.

We learned through that very successful year long project, that making or building something, combined with the bond that develops between veterans that work together, is a very powerful healing opportunity.  The vets developed a new sense of purpose and belonging, and lives were turned around. Your support will allow other Veterans to benefit from this life-altering experience. We can never fully understand the impact that their military service had on them, nor the challenges they face in their daily lives today, but we have a responsibility to be there for them in any way we can.

"I'm a disabled vet & I struggle daily dealing with people. Eric, Viviana, Dayl and Cara are not a family like any other. They care about people in ways you don't see anymore, its true, it's genuine & ALWAYS from the heart.  I've always known, especially(the) day I started working there on the hearse that they were special. It is a safe place & a safe haven for a lot of veterans suffering day to day. I honestly think that if they'd not come in my life those short years back, I'm likely not sending you a note today."

                                                                                                                                            -Mike Nickerson

Youth Program

After serving hundreds of young people over several decades we are currently expanding our programs to serve a wider range of schools. Our students benefit from classes in many traditional arts including woodworking, blacksmithing, ceramics, fabric arts, lapidary work and stained glass making. Many of our students have experienced dramatic challenges in their lives. They tell us that Blue Ox is what keeps them attending school, and many returning alumni report that their time at Blue Ox gave them the foundation to reach for and find success in their lives. Blue Ox students have gone on to work in the trades, retail management, customer service, and even become small business owners.

Craftsmanship Outreach Video Production

Help us spread the passion, knowledge and spirit of craftsmanship to the entire world with our new video series! These high quality training and educational videos will also feature interviews and stories from the Hollenbeck family, former and current students and instructors, and the veteran hearse built team. These videos will also help to generate the funds needed to run and expand our educational programs. This promises to be a fun series. 

Other ways you can help support Blue Ox

There are a number of ways that you can help us move forward beyond this GoFundMe campaign. First of all, just sharing this with your friends and family will go a long way for us, so please, give us a boost and share this campaign on your social media pages.

Give us a like on Facebook here: 

Our YouTube channel will be rockin shortly! Subscribe here: 

You can follow us on Instagram here: 

We have also just launched a Patreon channel! 

ALL donations are tax deductible as we are a certified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

We thank you for your time and consideration of supporting the Blue Ox and all we have to offer.

By contributing to our cause, you help veterans, you help young people, and you have become part of our team, keeping the soul of craftsmanship alive and thriving.

Blue Ox In Depth
Below are a series of videos and interviews to give you an much deeper look into Blue Ox and the Hollenbecks if you have the time and wish to know more about Blue Ox. Enjoy!

Full video of the amazing short documentary about Eric Hollenbeck "The Ox" by Ben Proudfoot of Breakwater Studios can be seen here(Thanks Ben!):

In depth interview with Viviana Hollenbeck sharing the past, present, and future of Blue Ox with some profound words of wisdom along the way.

And we just made front page news with North Coast Journal!

Donations (45)

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  • Emily Reinhart
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs
  • Janet Simonson
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs
  • Michael Brunsfeld
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs
  • Igal Levy
    • $100 
    • 4 yrs
See all


Viviana Hollenbeck
Eureka, CA
Blue Ox Historic Village and School
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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