Mike and Judy Sullivan have been married 50 years. They live in southern California, and for the past seven years, the Vietnam vet and his wife have spent nearly every day in their wood shop making handmade toys to give away. Last year they spent $19,000 on supplies, and they build toys between eight and ten hours each day. Mike buys the lumber, drill bits and saws, and makes the patterns. Judy is quality control and decorator.
The Sullivans give away many of the toys outside their home in the Coachella Valley. "We try to enforce social distancing and masking," says Mike. They will give away 1,400 free toys this Christmas, including to the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission and a church food pantry. They've mailed free toys as far as Indiana, and they even pay for the shipping, although they admit that's getting tough. "As long as I can afford it, I can send them where I can," says Mike.