A retired couple in Desert Hot Springs, California, is busy making toys for local children to enjoy this Christmas.
“Mike Sullivan and his wife Judy spend their retirement making homemade wooden toys for children. They have been doing this since 2013,” KESQ reported.
Every Christmas, they donate their toys to needy children in the Coachella Valley. This year, they made 1,500.
“Most times we don’t even get to see the kids get them but they’re going out and we know somebody is going to have a more merry Christmas,” said Mike, who is an Army veteran.
The couple spends just about every day in their workshop.
“We’re both in good health and are able to be out here six to seven days a week for eight to 10 hours. It’s so much fun, it feels like home here in the shop working things out,” Mike explained.
The 72-year-old Vietnam veteran makes the patterns and cuts and sands the materials while his wife does quality control and decorating.
“I run my hands over all the toys and feel for something that’s not supposed to be there — a loose wheel or splinter,” Judy said.
The toys are especially needed this year with many parents out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On what appeared to be his Facebook page, Mike shared a video of their workshop and the rows upon rows of toys ready for kids to enjoy:
Despite the shrapnel left in his body from his time in the service, Mike said, “You have to adapt and overcome,” adding that his brothers were also carpenters and made toys for him as a child.
“Most of the things I got were handmade toys. They were wonderful toys, I know how much I enjoyed them and just hope that kids that get them now still do,” he commented.
To help with the cost of the materials, the Sullivans’ kids encouraged them to set up a GoFundMe page.
As of Monday afternoon, the page had raised $19,885 of its $30,000 goal.
“I always say that, I do not sell toys. But if you can contribute to help make more toys for next year, I appreciate that,” Mike said. “The more help we can get, the more toys we can turn out.”