Naples Shutter, Southwest Florida’s leading manufacturer of plantation shutters, is celebrating its two-year anniversary of supplying raw materials to local retiree group Toys for God’s Kids. Over the past two years, the group has hand-crafted over 5,000 wooden cars and distributed them to needy children worldwide.
Naples, FL (PRWEB) August 27, 2014 - Naples Shutter is celebrating the two-year anniversary of donating scrap wood from its plantation shutter factory to a local children’s charity. The charity consists of a group of Southwest Florida retirees that have banded together to use their woodworking talents, their time, and their business experience to turn scrap wood into toys for children around the world. The group, operating in cooperation with the national organization Toys for God’s Kids, gathers scrap wood from local plantation shutter manufacturer Naples Shutter and takes it to Shell Point, an award-winning retirement resort in Ft. Myers, Florida. At Shell Point, a group of men uses the wood to build tiny wooden cars. The cars are then distributed to children both locally and worldwide through the U.S. military, local churches, charities and police departments.
Bill “Fuzz” Farrell, 81-year-old Ft. Myers, Florida resident, approached Naples Shutter in 2012 to see if the company would be willing to donate its scrap wood to the Shell Point car-building project. Naples Shutter agreed, and since then Mr. Farrell has made bi-weekly trips to the company to collect materials. His visits are a welcome part of the day at Naples Shutter, and he frequently entertains employees with stories of his trips to Africa and his active life in a retirement resort. Farrell coordinates the efforts of the other retirees as part of the national group Toys for God’s Kids, based in Denver, Colorado. Based on survey results, the local Shell Point group has manufactured 5,000 cars over the last two years. Since the establishment of the national charity in 2000, over 750,000 toy cars have found their way to children in distressed areas worldwide, according to the organization's website.
Once the wood reaches Shell Point, a team of volunteers quickly starts to work. The workers, or “smilemakers” as they are called, operate drill presses, routers, saws and sanders to cut out the bodies of the cars. Then they brand or stamp the cars with a U.S.A. symbol and install the wheels. The cars are then packed, counted and delivered either to Toys for God’s Kids headquarters or to local organizations. Recently, a shipment of 611 toy cars was delivered to a village in Ethiopia with the help of a missionary who serves there. She reported the delight of the children as they opened the giant box filled with toy cars, each taking one for his or her own. The children excitedly played with their cars on the floor and many returned with their cars the next day complete with added personal flare such as bright marker and pen colorings.
Naples Shutter co-owner Brian Trecek says the company is honored to be part of such a noble operation. “When Bill (Farrell) first started collecting our scrap wood to make toy cars, we didn’t realize how serious he was,” says Trecek. “Each time he visits Naples Shutter, we learn more about his operation and see the results of their hard work.” Farrell provides containers into which Naples Shutter factory workers deposit the scrap wood. Over the years, the workers have learned how to spot the best wood for the cars are sure to put this aside for Farrell. “Mahogany wood makes the best wheels because it’s extra hard,” says Trecek. “We always save the Mahogany for Bill.”
Naples Shutter, proudly serving Southwest Florida and beyond since 1981, is a family-owned company with a passion for quality and service. Naples Shutter manufactures custom plantation shutters in its 14,000 sq. ft. factory in Naples, Florida. They also supply the top lines of “Made in America” products for windows including blinds, shades, drapery, hurricane fabric, impact windows and doors, roll down and accordion shutters, and exterior Bahama and colonial shutters. Their team of sales consultants, professional installers, and customer service personnel serves clients not only at the time of the sale, but also for many years to come.
Jennifer Leach, Co-owner