Retirees make and deliver toys to Cook Children’s Medical Center – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Trinity Terrace Retirement Home has a ‘Tinkers’ Den’ woodworking room which is a cross between an automotive assembly line and Santa’s workshop.

“There is something to be said about a wooden toy,” said Skipper Gray, a Tinkers’ Den volunteer. “It’s a great simplicity and honesty about it.”

Retired volunteers spend their free time making wooden toy cars for sick and injured children at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.

“We know there are kids out there waiting for these cars to arrive,” Tinkers’ Den President Donald Martin said.

The Tinkers deliver about 15 cars to the hospital each month. Over the years, they have manufactured over 2,000 miniature cars of various models.

“Maybe it’ll bring some joy to a time that’s not the most comfortable for them,” Gray said. “It makes them think about what else is going on in the hospital.”

Some of the volunteers are new to woodworking, others have sawdust in their blood.

“I’ve been working with wood for probably 60 years,” said Gray. “My grandfather was a finishing carpenter. My father and uncle were both carpenters.

Gray’s job is to sand down the parts of the car’s wheels and make grooves in them to look like tread marks.

“You don’t think about what’s going on in the world,” Gray said of his job. “You’re looking at a piece of wood, trying to figure out what it’s going to look like. What are you going to do with it?”

Over the years, body styles have changed, as have the cars on the road.

“We only made 1,000,” Martin said, pointing to an older model with more cuts than he’s seen. “We’re going to start building this car,” he said, taking a simpler design.

“The project makes both the old generation and the new ones feel good,” Gray said.

The toys the Tinkers are making now will be destined for delivery over the holidays.

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