Christmas Toys From the Old, and Some Young, Guys.

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Project by RusticJohn posted 12-02-2015 09:32 PM 1815 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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.

-- RusticJohn

12 comments so far

View Brodan's profile


458 posts in 2645 days

#1 posted 12-02-2015 09:43 PM

Fantastic! What a tremendous example of giving back.
You all are a great example of the goodness in people.


-- Dan, TN

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27273 posts in 4448 days

#2 posted 12-02-2015 10:21 PM

WOW, that is an excellent way to share your talent at Christmas.
What a great project from all of you.

Merry Christmas and a big Thank You to all the men and women who worked on that project!!!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View BobWemm's profile


3077 posts in 3269 days

#3 posted 12-02-2015 11:40 PM

Double WOW from me.
Thank you all for such a wonderful contribution. It’s people like you guys and gals that make the world go round.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View swirt's profile


7141 posts in 4315 days

#4 posted 12-03-2015 01:54 AM

Quite amazing spirit, generosity, talent an wood. Who could ask for more.

-- Galootish log blog,

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8464 posts in 4696 days

#5 posted 12-03-2015 01:59 AM

It’s so nice to hear when people like you all do good things for other people in need. My hat’s off to you all for the great things you do. Your hearts are surely in the right place!
Merry Christmas and Congratulations to one and all!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View CFrye's profile


11410 posts in 3183 days

#6 posted 12-03-2015 02:55 AM

Gonna be a lot of happy happy kids this Christmas thanks to all of your giving spirits! Thank you for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 5239 days

#7 posted 12-03-2015 04:23 AM

Wow – that’s amazing!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View RusticJohn's profile


219 posts in 4934 days

#8 posted 12-03-2015 04:26 AM

Thank you all for the kind comments. Don’t forget to give me some suggestions for stuff for teenagers.

-- RusticJohn

View storm50's profile


99 posts in 5135 days

#9 posted 12-03-2015 04:49 AM

Great job guys, that’s awesome!

-- Clay

View CFrye's profile


11410 posts in 3183 days

#10 posted 12-03-2015 06:25 AM

I missed the part about items for older kids. How about brain teaser type puzzles, games(like jenga, quatro, etc), puzzle boxes?

-- God bless, Candy

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4490 days

#11 posted 12-04-2015 01:06 AM

I remember you guys from last year, and I’m very pleased to see you back in action this year! The kids are going to love their new toys!

It’s wonderful seeing you guys do this, and I’m looking forward to seeing your work next year. If I think of any suggestions, I’ll let you know.

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View sheetzy's profile


179 posts in 3502 days

#12 posted 12-07-2015 03:21 PM


-- What this world needs is a little more sawdust on the floor.

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