For more than twenty years WOCO has conducted an annual Holiday Toy Program. Throughout the year members make wooden toys which are donated to organizations for distribution to needy children at Christmastime. Typically more than 1800 toys are donated. In recent years toys have been provided to Salvation Army, St. Vincent Family Center, Gladden Community House, Alpha Athletic Club, Kids n’ Kamp, Fisher House at Wright Patterson AFB and NBC4/Firefighters for Kids.
Toys are made by members either working alone or in groups. Working in a group is encouraged, especially for new members, as it is great way to meet new people and to learn about different tools and techniques. There are usually five to eight toy groups working during any given year.
Each year at the Holiday Party, members bring the toys they have made during the year and display them on tables set up around the room. It’s a wonderful time to show off what you’ve made, to see what your fellow woodworkers have made and to enjoy each other’s company in a festive setting. After the party the toys are gathered and distributed to the charitable agencies.
The toys made by WOCO members range from the very simple to the very elaborate. Some are made from plans in books from the WOCO library, some are original designs. Some members make very many toys, others only a few. Any level of participation is greatly appreciated. Putting a smile on the face of a child who doesn’t have many reasons to smile during the year is a reward well worth the effort.
For more information on the Holiday Toy Program including how to get started or to join a toymaking group contact Mike Quinn (email@example.com) or Dan Strohecker (firstname.lastname@example.org).