RENO, Nev (KOLO) -- If there was a Santa's workshop in the 48 contiguous states, this busy noisy space would be it. In a storage unit north of Reno, the Nevada Woodchucks turn pieces of wood into one-of-a-kind toys.
From cars, to puzzles, to stick horses and cradles, the wood is donated; the craftsmen are volunteers who have had a lifetime of wood working--or who are just starting out.
“We have a lot of fun,” says Donna Wenstrom with the Nevada Woodchucks.
The club requires members to take classes to learn the machinery and how to make wood items. Those items will eventually turn into toys with bright colors, wheels, and animals.
For roughly 10 months to group meets and works together to make hundreds of toys which eventually go to 14 non-profit organizations that help children in need.
“I feel like I am building something. Making something and not just twiddling myself away and watching TV or something. I am doing something,” says Nevada Woodchuck member Julia Tachihara.
On delivery day the group again works in a coordinated fashion to list, sort, wrap and pack the record 2600 toys in their cars and trucks. They will be taken to locations in town and as far away as Incline Village.
Donnah makes her way to the Children’s Cabinet, where the organization supplied 2000 toys to local children. Each year, these wooden toys stand out.
“This year as we were opening up the toys. We saw so many creative ideas. Puzzles, and little animals that fit into each other, a variety of airplanes and automobiles and pull toys,” says Amy Riley with the Children’s Cabinet.
The Nevada Woodchucks could tell you about why they love what they do, why this work is fun for them, and why they feel a sense of accomplishment. But that all speaks through the wood.
They start up again in January.
Go here for more information on the Nevada Woodchucks.