The “Share A Toy Workshop” in Nodaway restores old toys to give to children in need for Christmas. It’s a gift they’ve been giving for many years.
Last December the workshop suffered a devastating loss. But with the community’s support, the couple behind the Share A Toy Workshop got a very special gift in return.
You’re probably asking yourself, where in world is Nodaway. Inside her home, Judy Else, can tell you the location doesn’t matter but what she and her husband, Vince, are doing there does.
“I know the kids are going to enjoy it,” says Judy.
Everyday for the past 50 years, thousands of used toys are donated to the Else’s Share A Toy Workshop to be repaired, cleaned and given to needy families for Christmas.
But the workshop where the Elses repair and hand out the toys was recently destroyed by a fire. All the toys for this year’s Christmas melted in the flames.
“I just told the fireman to let it burn. It’s too far gone. They weren’t going to be able to save anything,” Vince Else said.
The Elses thought the fire was a sign that maybe it was time to close shop after 50 years. After all, they couldn’t afford to build a new one.
Just two days later, the couple received a phone call from a community member saying they would like to help rebuild the workshop. Vince called it a blessing.
Last month the new building was completed and houses just as money toys at it did before.
The Elses said they are still in shock with the community’s generosity but they would still rather be giving than getting.
“We do this because we want the kids to have toys,” Vince said.
The Share A Toy Workshop has given more than 300 gifts for children in need this year and will continue to hand out gifts until December 23.