Art Hinners, a 87-year-old resident of Kruse Village, a full service retirement community, uses his garage and the woodshop at Kruse Village to make toys for children in need.
“Five years ago while I was in the woodshop, I saw a sign saying a local church needed toys,” said Hinners. “There were five men in the shop that day, and no one else was interested. I just started making the toys, and have been ever since.”
The long process begins by taking wood—donated by a friend who has extra supply—and sanding it down in his garage. Hinners then takes the toys to the woodshop to drill holes. He goes back to his garage, sands some more, and buys wheels and axels. After applying glue and mineral oil, he boxes up the handmade cars, trucks, and tractors by the hundreds and gives them to local children and families.
“I’m so glad the woodshop at Kruse Village is being used for such a good cause,” said Coy Fontenot, executive director of Kruse Village. “Art is an extremely talented man, and we are grateful to have him working so hard to make sure all of the children in the area have toys in time for Christmas.”
Hinners currently has two to three hundred toys in his garage that he will soon be donating to the local churches, missionaries, and to Lutheran Social Services of the South. These don’t include the toys he leaves in the windowsill of the woodshop as an advertisement in case anyone else needs toys made.
“I have the tools and the space, and there is a need for toys,” said Hinners. “I do this because I can, and it brings me great satisfaction knowing that I can use my time to help these children.”