From developing a pattern, to trimming the wood pieces with a band saw, to gluing, sanding and painting, several John Knox Village resident volunteers at the Hobby Hut work year-round to bring a smile to children’s faces during the holidays. John Knox Village is a life plan community in Lee’s Summit.

Volunteers with the Hobby Hut recently donated 30 rocking horses, along with 12 easels and a variety of several hundred smaller wooden toys to Lee’s Summit Social Services. These toys will be given out in December to families in need through their Christmas program.

The Hobby Hut is a large building that includes a wide variety of woodworking machines and tools. Beyond making the toys, the volunteers help repair and build furniture and more. Larry Nichols, resident, who helped make the rocking horses, had never done woodworking prior to moving to the Village, and said it has been wonderful to be a part of making the toys.

"It’s special to be able to do this and give back to the community,” Larry said. “Our goal is to put a smile on children’s faces when they might not have much else to smile about during the holidays.”

Bob Boyd, resident, coordinates the delivery of the toys with Lee’s Summit Social Services and said they have enjoyed a good partnership over the past few years. Paric, the Village’s construction partner, assisted by donating scrap wood to help make toys, along with the John Knox Village Foundation, who donated funds to help purchase supplies.

Cassiti Williamson, with Lee’s Summit Social Services, said it has been great to have the addition of the handmade wooden toys to give out during their Christmas program.

"You can tell in how the toys are made that it comes from the heart,” Cassiti said. “Last year was the first year we gave out the wooden toys made by the Hobby Hut, and the parents loved them. They commented that these are toys you can’t get anymore, and they can be something passed down through their family because they will last forever. It’s been great to partner with the Hobby Hut and we’re thankful for their support.”

Learn more about John Knox Village at www.johnknoxvillage.org.