MONROE — There’s the twirly-bird helicopters, the hippity-hoppity frogs and, of course, the choo-choo trains.
Hundreds of toys are made from assorted hardwood and plywood cutoffs from Monroe’s Canyon Creek Cabinet Company.
For the second year in a row, Canyon Creek teamed up with Emerald Heights Retirement Community in Redmond to build wooden toys for charities around the Puget Sound area.
About a dozen resident meet every Monday at a community workshop to make the toys. The only rules are the toys cannot contain lead-based paint and the pieces must be bigger than the opening of a toilet paper roll.
The group last year and this year have built handcrafted wooden cars, airplanes, doll houses, blocks and plenty of rolling toys such as the frogs and the choo-choo trains.
This year, the Emerald Heights group made 800 toys that will be distributed to nonprofits such as Mary’s Place, Ronald McDonald House, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Childhaven and Seattle’s Union Gospel.
“It’s remarkable to see what the men and women that are part of ‘Wooden Toys For Charity’ create every year. They are a talented group and we’ve been happy to donate wood to them over the past two years,” said John Earl, environmental manager at Canyon Creek, in a news release.
It’s been so popular at Emerald Heights that the toy-making group has outgrown its current shop and plan to add a second 800-foot shop.
Canyon Creek Cabinet has a manufacturing plant at 16726 Tye St. SE in Monroe. The company sells custom cabinets mainly to kitchen and bathroom dealers and contractors through the Puget Sound area.
The company also donates scraps and pieces to the carpentry program at Washington State Reformatory — Monroe Correctional Complex.
The carpentry program/sustainable practices lab focuses on developing social, practical and technical skills to help prepare inmates for real-world life outside of prison.
The lab at the facility operates a wood shop — WoodCraft4Charity — that makes small wooden toys, cars, planes,
puzzles and boxes that are then donated to local hospitals, police and fire departments, charities, shelters and Boys & Girls Clubs in the Puget Sound area. This year the wood shop has donated over 450 hand-crafted items.