Building A Base

Toy Shoppe of Warren in need of volunteers

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Toy Shoppe Volunteer Herb West makes a cut with the radial arm saw.

The Toy Shoppe of Warren has an opportunity for folks to help kids while utilizing a skill or learning a new one.

“The Toy Shoppe of Warren needs volunteers to fulfill its mission,” Volunteer Coordinator Pat Williams said. “2020 has been a difficult year for The Toy Shoppe with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of woodworking volunteers over the years.”

The organization makes wooden toys for children out of its shop on the grounds of Warren State Hospital.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic — shutdowns, delays, and additional safety measures.

“The pandemic … with the loss of woodworking volunteers, has strained our ability to carry out our mission,” Williams said. “Each year we pledge to make quality wooden toys for underprivileged children in Warren County.”

Times Observer photos by Brian Ferry Toy Shoppe Volunteer Skip Trumbull makes more horses.

It was more challenging, but the Toy Shoppe lived up to its mission.

“Despite the difficulties we experienced in 2020, we were able to deliver 1,350 toys to the Salvation Army and to 21 different agencies who provide services to many children in the area,” he said.

“We need more woodworking volunteers to help us continue building wooden toys and fulfill our goal of providing joy and happiness to many children,” Williams said.

The children aren’t the only ones who benefit.

“Being a toy-building volunteer is a great way to stay connected with people and do something positive for our kids,” he said. “It is a great way to provide personal fulfillment by working with our hands and being creative. Each of us leaves here with a true sense of accomplishment.”

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Toy Shoppe Volunteer Jerri Rulander works on a rocking unicorn.

Those who would like to help but don’t think they have the skills will be trained, Williams said. “Trust us, we can provide training, guidance, supervision, and encouragement to you and you can achieve remarkable results.”

Anyone who would like to check out the operation and meet the people are encouraged to visit the shoppe by contacting Williams at (814) 726-1641 or (814) 730-7830, Terry Anderson at (814) 730-2211, or Dee Dee Tucker at (814) 726-3140.

“Toy building volunteers are very much needed and welcome,” Williams said. “We really need your help.”

Toy Shoppe Volunteer Reynie Wingard works on a clown for a carousel like the one in the foreground.

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Toy Shoppe Volunteer Chuck Harrington works on a dragon.

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Toy Shoppe Volunteer Rick Johnson works on a chainsaw. A sewing machine that was finished earlier sits at his work station.


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