Recently, Ray Jacobs of Palm Harbor, Florida, the president of the Tarpon Woods Action Committee, took up a great cause by volunteering for the ToyMakers of East Lake.
Mr. Jacobs’ story is a testament to the innate generosity, compassion and sense of giving that lies within all of mankind, as he was compelled to help the organization to make toys for deserving children. After long having been admired by the members of his community for his innovative thinking and hard work, Mr. Jacobs was prompted to help others. He joined ToyMakers of East Lake and placed himself in a position of benevolence by participating in activities that would someday enable children to smile, one toy at a time.
Mr. Jacobs, a professional with a lofty background which also encompasses that of the position as president the Local Homeowners’ Association, has since been making toys for the organization with a mission to provide brightly painted, simple wooden toys to children in physical or emotional distress.
The ToyMakers began in 1982 when Jim McCullagh was advised that his grandchild didn’t have any toys to play with while in All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. He realized that there was a need and enlisted the help of his boy-hood friend, Bruce Pahl. They and their wives started making simple, colorful wooden toys. These toys were given to All Children’s Hospital, then to local Ronald McDonald Houses, and other local agencies. The ToyMakers grew by word of mouth and now has over 200 volunteers in several states.
The ToyMakers tradition continues today. We have made and distributed over 350,000 toys to this date. All are wooden, no metal anywhere, and brightly colored. We have even made a special toy that has a “handle” for children with muscular dystrophy. We are always adding new children’s agencies in the United States as well as special situations in other countries.
Throughout the years The ToyMakers have been blessed with individuals and organizations who have donated monies and products. When you consider that we go through about 36,000 various size wheels, thousands of dowels for axles, and untold gallons of spray and liquid paints every year, not to mention repairs to our machines, you can understand our very deep appreciation of our Sponsors. We proudly list them in this web site as our partners in this mission. The ToyMakers have also been fortunate to receive recognition for our work with a Silver Good Citizenship Medal from the Sons of the American Revolution and as a Runner-up in the Min-Wax Community Craftsman Awards. We are deeply appreciative for the recognition.
In addition to his work with The ToyMakers, Mr. Jacobs also writes an informative article for the community newsletter. He encourages everyone to support this worthy cause.
Contact The ToyMakers of East Lake today to learn how you can help.