David Greene had a vision. The woodworker, a member of Echo Hill Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids, dreamed of developing a team of church congregants to construct quality wooden toys for less fortunate children of all ages. The toys would be non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and creatively constructed to spark the imaginations of the children playing with them. Remembering fondly the hours of fun and creative play with their favorite childhood toys prompted a group of congregants to take a leap of faith to begin the Toy Club.
In its invitational materials, the Toy Club affirms that all are welcome to join in this collective adventure to build memories, regardless of church affiliation. Toy Club members can engage in woodcraft each Thursday, make monetary donations for purchase of hardwoods and crafting supplies, or serve as those who build relationships with neighbors in need of toys. A portion of the hardwoods used for production have been donated by millwork companies, cabinet makers, individuals, and family estates. Since the toys are small, the club often uses what others would consider scrap wood. Because the toys must be child safe, no plywood, woods that can splinter, or toxic woods are used, and only child-safe finishes are utilized.
The Toy Club has entered its third year of making handmade quality toys for kids, over 300 toys in all, from 35 different patterns that consist of planes, cars, trucks, and puzzles. These skilled workers are quite the production crew with a united common interest. It is a real blessing to see people come together with such a united effort … to make a difference in the life of a child at this time of year. If you would like to learn more, donate, help, or educate yourself, contact the group at Echo Hill, or stop by for a visit!
Rebecca Blair, Ph.D., Stated Clerk, Presbytery of East Iowa
Today’s Focus: Presbytery of East Iowa
Let us join in prayer for:
Echo Hill Presbyterian Church
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Lord, help us to share our ideas, our resources, and our passion for your work in the world so that together we may be the body of Christ, sharing the good news and healing the tears in our social fabric. Amen.