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The Sound of Twelve Scrollsaws Scrolling

Take an idea…Flesh out the details…Secure the space…Excite the people…Organize the event.

Wood is planed and boards are cut. Patterns are cut and attached to the wood boards. Next, gather the saws, stands, extension cords, chairs, glue, sanding materials, a large supply of blades, and over one hundred toys already cut.

Saturday, October 6, 2012 at 7:00 AM – Who are these two worker elves waiting at the door of the North Country Workshop? Well, none other than our own President, John Engler and his wife Nancy. So quiet and unassuming, their impeccable preparation and organization made it possible to have twelve NorthStar Scrollers sawing all at the same time.

And for what purpose are they scrolling? The NorthStar Scrollers are providing two hundred fifty unfinished wooden toys for TLC Toys, Inc. TLC toys is an awesome charity that not only gives away thousands of toys to 150 different agencies, churches, and hospitals, but also provides work for people with special needs.

The NorthStar Scrollers Club learned about TLC Toys through one or our members, Phil Lagarde, who has been voluntarily making toys for many years. Phil thanked us for making the choice to work this day saying, “We can use all the help we can get. I loaded my car with Maple boards today. If people would take wood home and bring back trees and dinosaurs like we cut here, that would be a great help. I can drop some more off at the next meeting and pick up the toys that have been made. The good news is: All of our wood is donated. The bad news: We don’t get a choice.”

John Engler, our president, also found the time to visit with Mel Hartman at TLC Toys. John said, “It’s quite the place. Most of it is in his basement. You drive in to a nice neighborhood and up to a big house. When you go in you see saws, planers, wheels & toys everywhere. It’s a very nice warehouse space. When I was there they were planing down some tables. They got them from a furniture store. Mel scavenges what we suppose are defective furniture pieces, and gets wood from cabinet making places all over town. While I was there, they had two kids working on community service time. One was doing some planing and the other was putting little wheels together.

TLC Toys has been around for 20 years. They give away about 20,000 toys a year to needy children. Everything is volunteer labor and all the wood is donated. Last year they gave away even more items (29,400+) since they had soldiers who came back from Iraq working. The soldiers made a lot of flag boxes and other items to give away. They have $100,000 in expenses every year for wheels, warehouse space, finishing, dolls, etc. St. Cloud Prison does the painting & finishing for the more elaborate toys and dolls. Our toys will be finished by the “Achieve Group” of disabled workers. They have 178 mentally and physically handicapped people who will paint the trees and dinosaurs that we make here.

Phil is the only scrollsawer they have there, so anyone who wants to join him will be greatly appreciated. For more information on how you or your company can support TLC Toys contact Mel Hartman at 763-421-3891 or visit the website at www.T.L.C.Toys.org