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Carole Mikita ReportingDozens of young students were busy today preparing toys for hundreds of children in another part of the world who don't have any.
St. Francis Xavier School has joined forces with a non-profit organization in Midvale called The Happy Factory and the delivery company UPS on this project.
Together, they are helping students reach across the world to make a difference.
The creativity of the fourth and fifth graders goes beyond their regular art class. They are putting the finishing touches on wooden cars and trucks that may be the only toys a group of orphans in Kenya will ever receive.
Student Sierra Meyer says, "I think they'll be happy ‘cause, this is, I bet, maybe the first thing they really own."
Another student, Elijah McQuillan, says, "It makes me feel good because I'm actually doing something for some kids."
The children worked carefully and quickly, finishing 300 little cars and trucks during school hours. Their teacher, Jordan Hendrickson, is impressed that her students understand the significance of the project, imagining how they would feel. She says, "I would be very happy for the people who made it, and it would be really special."
"It's not just raising money or collecting food, but this is something that other kids are gonna get to play with everyday," says fifth-grade teacher Melissa Sutphan.
A non-profit group The Happy Factory makes the toys from pieces of scrap wood. The United Parcel Service donates global volunteer hours to get them where they need to go. Teresa McQuillan, with UPS, says, "Our children here at St. Francis, their theme for this year is ‘Love of Others,' and I thought what a great combination for us to involve both things.
Painting the cars made the children aware of how much they have and just how little others own. Student Marcela Vasquez says, "We'll, I'm actually happy because I have the opportunity to help some kids that don't have things that we have."
The toys next go to The Happy Factory in Midvale, and then they'll be shipped to an orphanage in Kenya, hopefully in time for Christmas.
Happy Factory Branch No. 29 can be contacted at (801) 566-5570. For donation information, contact Ellen James at 358-3412. Call Paul Herd at (801) 859-1476 to arrange for volunteer groups to work at the facility.
For more information on The Happy Factory, go to the related link.