Shell Point residents Bill Reiff, Ken Treiber, Fuzz Farrell, Pete Bickett, and George Decelles share both a love of woodworking and a love of helping children. They have teamed up with three Vi at Bentley Village residents, Charles Rue, Peter Mattimore, and Frank Harrigan, to make wooden toy cars for children in need as part of the Toys for God’s Kids program. Last year, they produced more than 300 cars and sent them to hospitalized children in Mali, West Africa and to U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Over the holiday season, they also supplied cars to the Toys for Tots and Operation Christmas Child programs.
The Vi at Bentley Village volunteers visited the Shell Point resident woodworkers to tour the community’s woodshop with and meet with Craig Schneider of Suncoast Contractors Supply. As part of Builders Without Borders, Schneider is preparing for a September trip to Rwanda to continue work on the Kigali Christian School. The woodworkers are giving Schneider toy cars to load into the container the Builders Without Borders group is shipping to Kigali, Rwanda in June in preparation for their trip. In turn, Schneider is donating scrap lumber from Suncoast Contractors Supply to the gentlemen to make more cars for needy children. The woodworkers use patterns for the cars and have been cutting them from poplar scraps supplied by Jon Leach, owner of Naples Shutter and from Florida Stairworks and Carpentry in Fort Myers. Bits of hardwood leftover from the woodshop, are used to make the wheels. The only store-bought component is the dowels that become car axles. They sand the cars and finish them with a linseed oil and mineral spirits seal. The final touch is a USA stamp on the bottom of each car. Treiber estimates that so far, they’ve created 500 cars this year.
Shell Point Resident Treiber is excited about supplying cars to Builders Without Borders, an organization with a mission that aligns perfectly with that of Toys for God’s Kids. “We are happy to give Craig cars to bring to the children in Kigali,” said Ken, adding “Suncoast’s lumber donation will help us make even more cars.”
“This is a perfect partnership,” said Schneider, who is making his second visit to Kigali in September. “The children will be so excited to have a new toy, and it’s great that these woodworkers can help us make it happen.”
Shell Point Retirement Community is a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community located in Fort Myers just off Summerlin Road and McGregor Boulevard, two miles before the Sanibel causeway. Shell Point has received national accreditation from CARF-CCAC, and is a nationally recognized leader in the retirement industry. The community offers retirement living in a resort-style environment with an 18-hole championship golf course that is open to the public, deep water boating access with free boat dockage, and recreational and fitness facilities. To learn more about Shell Point, visit us at www.shellpoint.org or call 1-800-780-1131.