Across the country, in one-man shops and where groups of friends come to work together, folks are using their love of woodworking to bring smiles to children the world over.
By furnishing simple toy cars that are easy and fun to make, they are sending underprivileged kids a ringing message that someone cares.
We’ve come to be known as SmileMakers. As toymakers, we make small wooden toys, but our reward comes when a small child breaks out in a happy smile as a car is placed in their hand. That makes us smile too.
Some SmileMakers build complete cars; some make parts for others to complete the assembly of the toys. For everyone that takes part in this effort, there is a deep sense of satisfaction that some child will have a happier day.
Our relationship with retirement homes provides another important aspect of our mission. Some produce complete cars and others focus on assembling the toys. In that case our woodworkers create the car parts and deliver them to the facility where residents meet for regular get-togethers to put together the finished toys.
It’s difficult to imagine how the gift of a simple toy to a child who has never had one can be so meaningful. One look at the faces of the children gives a sense of how much one of our toys mean. It’s not only a plaything but also a treasure from some unnamed friend who wants “me” to see the world in a more positive way.
Why a toy? Toys are the research laboratory of a child’s mind; toys allow for the child to learn how to create, problem solve, share and socialize. This small wood toy is their comfort; it tells them someone cares, helps them forget their troubles and puts them, if just for a brief moment, in a better place. Toys For Gods Kids is not simply providing a toy, but with your help, we are providing hope and life altering experiences, one toy at a time.
Hundreds of thousands of the tiny vehicles have traveled in suitcases, backpacks, military cargo planes, and containers of disaster supplies to 130 countries around the world. They are now found in Central and South America, Africa, and the Far East. American soldiers have taken them to Afghanistan and Iraq. Here at home, disaster relief organizations and police officers use them to provide an engaging distraction during times of crisis or domestic disturbances, and they are included in Christmas packages for the needy