The Ahwatukee Sunshine Group has been in full swing in its charitable giving by making as many wooden toys as they can, which will be donated to Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Shriners Hospitals for Children.
The club meets each Thursday morning at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center, 5001 E. Cheyenne Road, to work on making the toys.
Inside the workshop, more than 10 residents work on different projects, cutting pieces of wood to put them together to be made into toys.
Different tools align the wall of the workshop, and the wood shrieks as members cut each piece using the table saws.
Some of the wooden toys being donated to Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Shriners Hospitals for Children consist of wooden airplanes, cars, and pencil holders in the shape of a heart.
The children join in on the creative fun; being able to paint their new wooden toy.
Francis Christian, a member of the Sunshine Group, said during a three-hour session members make more than a dozen toys to be donated.
He added that many of the ideas for making the toys come from different books they have in the workshop, and members follow the instructions on how to create a particular piece.
Sunshine Group members draw patterns, cut patterns, clean the wood and glue the pieces together to complete the toy.
When the glue dries, the toys are then sent to the shop’s cleaning room to put any finishing touches on the toy.
“Because of the talent we have and the equipment we have, we get called upon to do different things around here,” Christian said. “I love it because we’re giving back. You can only do so much stuff for yourself; it really feels great when you’re doing something for somebody else. It’s a warm fuzzy feeling knowing you’re using your talents for somebody less fortunate.”
The Sunshine Group also looks for wood donations from the community to continue to make the toys, he added.
Ken Chrisner, president of the group, said there are 96 members actively involved right now.
“The Shriners and Children’s hospitals are our main people we work with,” said Chrisner, who recently had the opportunity to visit the local Shriners Hospital and saw how the children were extremely excited about the toys he and other members made.
“That’s what really turned me on, and this is really important,” Chrisner said.
For more information about the Sunshine Group, visit www.azarc.net.
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