|Project by RusticJohn||posted 12-02-2015 09:32 PM||1075 views||2 times favorited||12 comments|
Each year the men of the Naenae MENZ Shed and the men and women of the Guild of Woodworkers make toys for the Salvation Army to give to needy kids at Christmas. This year we were joined by the Upper Hutt MENZ Shed and the residents of the Cashmere Rest Home. The residents, led by a 90 year old lady, produced the knitted blankets for the dolls beds. The inspiration for the men was a 91 year old who made 50 of the toys. In all about 250 toys were made, all from recycled materials. The photos do not do justice to the effort as there were so many toys that most had to be left packed in boxes.
These are gifts that have wider benefits than to just the children. Skills are passed on during construction from the experts to the beginners, the knitting helps people who have a medical condition to get there hands moving in co-ordination with the brain and every one derives pleasure from contributing to our community. We have several examples of people who are improving their physical and mental health through this project.
Even in a relatively well off country like New Zealand there is an endless supply of children whose parents need assistance. Particularly at Christmas. The challenge has been to make robust, colourful toys suitable for small boys and girls. They need to be easy to make quickly because of the numbers required. Plain and hardy with the minimum number of parts is the key.
The issue for next year is to produce presents, from wood, for older children and teenagers. Bright, high tech, plastic items are hard to compete with. Barbie dolls and computer games are much more attractive to bigger kids. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.