A woodworking group of Carlsbad seniors are making sure local children in need have a toy under the Christmas tree this year.
These woodworking “elves” of La Costa Glen senior living community in Carlsbad have spent nearly a year creating 100 handmade toy trucks of all shapes and sizes to be donated to North County children.
The program, outfitted with a fully stocked woodworking studio, benefits the children, as well as the La Costa Glen residents.
“La Costa Glen knows the importance of residents staying active and engaged in the community," said Keith Kasin, Executive Director of the Community. "In fact, one study found that seniors who participate in activities such as woodworking were 45 percent less likely to develop mental impairment later in life."
The lead elf of sorts is Tom Woodbury, a retired IBM employee who picked up woodworking more than two decades ago. After moving into La Costa Glen, he became friends with the woodworkers of the community, and they began making the store-worthy toys.
Workers cut, sand and paint around 4,000 parts for the various creatively designed toy trucks and cars. Assembly can take about four hours for each toy! Of course, each toy is finished with a little paint and a whole lot of love.
One worker elf said the paint used is nontoxic because the toys will undoubtedly end up in some children's mouths.
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This year, the toys will be donated to charities including the Casa De Amparo in North County, a non-profit that specializes in treating and preventing child abuse and neglect.
As for the future, Kasin said, "The sky is the limit for our residents. I know that they’ve spoken about continuing this program and developing new and unique toys in the future. It’s exciting to see how La Costa Glen residents are changing lives.”