Retired California Couple Spends All Year Making Toys To Give Away To Children At Christmas
ยท Dec 24, 2021 ยท

Here's a heartwarming story for the Christmas season.

Since 2013, Mike and Judy Sullivan have been making handcrafted wooden toys, every day of the year, to give away to children at Christmas.

From the Washington Post:

"Sullivan, a former construction worker, looked around at the wood scraps in his wood shop in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., one day in 2013 and realized what he wanted to do.

"I talked about it with Judy, and we decided we'd start making wooden toys to give away to kids the following Christmas," he said. "That first year, we made 360; cars, trucks, cradles, puzzles, pull toys, rocking horses โ€” you name it."

Eight years later, the Sullivans now crank out about 1,500 handmade toys each year to donate to local children's charities, school districts and homeless shelters throughout Southern California's Coachella Valley."

Mike builds the toys using his woodworking skills, and his wife Judy paints the toys and adds the accessories. Then the Sullivan's 15 grandkids help to test the toys.

"When I retired, I realized that I have to have something to do โ€” I can't just sit there and stare at a TV all day," he said. "Making toys keeps my mind active and gives me a boost. Some days are easier than others, but they're all rewarding."

Judy Sullivan, who suffers from anxiety and depression, said she has noticed a dramatic improvement in her mental health since she joined her husband in the wood shop.

"Painting the toys and imagining the joy they'll bring to the children is very calming and soothing," she said. "Eight hours will go by in the shop, just like that. I get lost in the work and wonder how I ever did without it before. Helping Mike make these toys has done wonders for me."

This couple is just so sweet.

"Mike Sullivan said his beard is a little whiter since he made his first toy, and that suits him fine.

"I'm known as the local Santa, and that's the ultimate compliment," he said. "I might take a day or two off after Christmas, but that's it. As long as there's a need out there, Santa doesn't get to take many vacations."

This is Christmas spirit personified.

The real Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

Great job, Sullivans!

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