Retired Couple Bring Yearly Handmade Joy to Hundreds

Retired Couple Bring Yearly Handmade Joy to Hundreds

( – One of the best parts of the holiday season is the generosity of strangers. People all over the country come together to help those in need. Among them is a retired couple who has a love for toys.

For the last eight years, Mike and Judy Sullivan of Coachella Valley, CA, have helped bring Christmas joy to children. Mr. Sullivan took up woodworking when he retired from the construction industry. One day in 2013, he was looking around at wood scraps in his shop when he and his wife decided they would start making toys and give them away to kids the next Christmas. That year they made 360 trucks, puzzles, rocking horses and other toys. In 2020, the couple made 1,500 toys and the local news featured them on a hometown heroes segment.

This year the Sullivans once again made 1,500 toys. They’re donating the creations to children’s charities, homeless shelters and school districts. Local businesses donate the scrap wood they use to make the toys and the couple spends some of their savings on the other material they need. Mr. Sullivan builds them while Mrs. Sullivan (sometimes with her grandchildren) attaches the wheels, paints them and makes sure they’re safe for the kids.

When the Washington Post asked the couple why they do it, Mr. Sullivan responded, “We’ve been blessed — there’s not much that we need.”

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