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JD's Creations

In today's blog, we're sharing JD's story. JD is part of the Hope Haven community and here he recounts how he discovered his passion for welding through "JD's Creations"...


Hi, my name is JD Bumgarner and I have Cerebral Palsy and a learning disability, but that has not stopped me from finding my passion, which is being creative.

I have always been interested in designing and drawing things.  Even when I was little, I would help my Dad put things together without having to look at the directions, which is a good thing since I have trouble reading.  School and learning, especially math, reading and writing have always been hard for me because of my Cerebral Palsy, which is a brain injury.  Cerebral Palsy, because it is a brain injury, makes it harder for me to process information quickly, which is why my favorite types of classes have always been art classes, where I get to use my creativity.  I enjoy finding new ways of being creative and was excited to discover welding.

I started to weld as part of the 4H Bucket of Junk Challenge a few years ago.  The first piece I created was one that I called “Herky or Cy?”.  My parents were in awe of what I created out of a bucket of junk.

The next year, I created a Beagle and a bunny.  And most recently, I created a tractor from the bucket of junk.

My parents already knew that I was very creative and good at designing things on paper, but now I had a new way to be creative through welding.  I have learned that my brain works differently, which isn’t a bad thing because it helps me see and create art out of buckets of junk.  I like to think that I am giving new life to junk that would have been thrown away. 

My parents bought me a welder and welding equipment for Christmas, which I started to use right away.  Once Covid 19 hit and schools were cancelled, I started welding even more.  I took one of my first pieces, the “Iron Indian”, to the high school art show at Arts on Grand and it won the “Curator’s Choice Award” and was the first piece of art that I sold.  I am blessed to have supportive parents who encourage and help me use my creativity. 

I came to live with my Mom and Dad when I was 27 months old as part of the foster care system.  My biological sister, Chloe and I were adopted by them a few years later.  I also have a younger brother, Nate and two beagles at home. My entire family enjoys helping me with my welding. My Mom created a Facebook page called JD’s Creations and posts and sells my pieces there. Both my Mom and Dad help me polish and clean the pieces of junk before and after I weld them.  I’ve even taught my Mom, younger sister and brother to weld.  I really enjoy working with my family on my different projects - it has brought us all closer together. I am very blessed and thankful that I get to do what I love.

On September 18th, State Senator Zack Whiting, Representative Megan Jones, DHS Director and DPH Director Kelly Garcia and Chris Kramer, IVRS Steve Faulkner, David Mitchell will meet with JD to learn more about JD's Creations.

Hope Haven

Hope Haven 712.476.2737 1800 19th Street Rock Valley IA 51247 US 43.21034340 -96.29112910