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People Top 5
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- December 04, 2000
- Vol. 54
- No. 24
The Toy Guy
Charles Cooley Never Knew His Woodwork Would Work So Well; His Playthings Bring Joy to Thousands of Kids
Cooley's hobby has since turned into a full-time mission. Calling their operation the Happy Factory, the Cooleys have made more than 70,000 toys for hospitals, churches, homeless shelters and orphanages. "Everybody wants to help," says Donna, 65. "Charity's contagious." It must be. When the Cooleys ran out of room at home, an aerospace firm donated 1,600 sq. ft. of factory space. A lumberyard and a cabinetmaker have donated wood—and more than 600 of Cedar City's 13,000 residents have pitched in, cutting patterns and painting toys.
Cooley gives most toys to Salt Lake City's Latter-day Saints Humanitarian Services Center, which distributes them worldwide to kids caught in wars or natural disasters. "The most neglected person," says Cooley, "is the little child left in the rubble. If we can get a toy into the hands of a hurting child—well, that's a wonderful thing."
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