Husband and wife create and donate thousands of toys to local kids

  • 20 Aug - 26 Aug, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

Mike Sullivan isn’t making a list, or checking it twice – he’s just making toys, for anyone who wants one. The retired Army first sergeant and his wife Judy have been running their own Santa’s workshop out of a shed in the backyard of their Desert Hot Springs, California home for nearly a decade, and have crafted thousands of toys along the way. He and Judy, who recently celebrated 50 years together, joined a local woodworking club seven years ago, and it’s developed into a full-time passion. This year, they’ve crafted 1,400 toys to gift to children around the country. "It's so much fun, it feels like home here in the shop working things out," Mike added. The pair spend most days there together, chipping away at the toys for roughly 50-70 hours a week. The couple each have their own roles : Mike buys the supplies, like lumber and drill bits, and physically crafts the toys, while Judy manages quality control and paints the toys. To supplement Judy’s quality control, the Sullivans’ 15 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren help test out the toys as well. The toys that make it past their grandkids are given away outside their home or donated locally, for the most part. Whenever the couple can afford it, they’ll ship nationally as well.