We often picture retirement as a time to relax and take it easy, but a group of senior men at Parkway Place senior living community are hard at work making toys for children in Houston. Recently, Parkway Place opened a woodworking shop on its campus, an idea that came from the Men’s Activity Club. The new workshop not only gives residents a creative outlet for their skills or allows them to learn a new hobby, but it creates an opportunity for them to give back to the surrounding community. The men have been busy hand-making small wooden toy cars for a greater purpose–the toys will go to the children participating in Buckner Family Pathways in Houston, a transitional program for single parents and their children. These generous, heartfelt donations mean as much to the men who make them as they will for the children who will receive them. The toys are especially needed during the Christmas season, as parents at Buckner Family Pathways are looking for toys to give to their children on Christmas morning. Parkway Place and its Men’s Activity Club are excited about this new offering that will allow the senior living community to have an even bigger impact in the Houston area.
“The goal of the Men’s Activity Club at Parkway Place is to foster relationships, and one of the ways we like to do that is through community service,” said Aaron Mendoza, Parkway Place resident and the club’s moderator. “This is one of our major accomplishments, and we worked for about nine months to get the workshop up and running, with the support of the staff here. Making these toys together and giving them to the children of Buckner Family Services is a goal we’ve had in mind for a while, and I’m happy we can come together to make a difference in their lives.”
The workshop sits in a garage on the Parkway Place acreage, and many of its tools were donated by residents who weren’t using their own tools any longer. The men meet in the shop several times a week and build the toys from patterns created by one of the members. While some of the members’ woodworking knowledge is more advanced than others’, they most enjoy the camaraderie of creating and learning together.
“When the Men’s Activity Club approached us about creating a woodworking workshop on campus, we were so excited about their goal and wanted to help them reach it in any way possible,” said Sunny Chatagnier, Parkway Place’s executive director. “These men have such giving and generous spirits, and I know their creations will bring joy to so many children.”