The Kiwanis Club has teamed up with the Salvation Army to help spread holiday cheer throughout the Grand Valley, the state, and even the world this Christmas.
Members of the Golden K Club have handcrafted some beautiful and sturdy wooden toys which they donated to the Salvation Army.
The toys were collected at the Salvation Army's Toy Warehouse in Grand Junction around 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
Golden K Club member Don Espeland makes the wooden toys and said he got the idea from a book he read; he brought the project to Grand Junction about five years ago.
The club now distributes about 300 of the wooden toys per month, according to Espeland.
He said the toys get delivered to about 14 different locations in town, including hospitals and police departments. But the handcrafted toys also make their way around the state, and even to different corners of the world.
"We distribute to Fort Carson where they take the toys and tell the soldiers, 'Put them in your backpacks and take them with you, and when you get to Afghanistan just hand them out to the children that may be in pain or stress,'" said Espeland.
"I'm boxing up toys right now for Africa, south Sudan, and there's a missionary there and she distributes these toys. And she has told me that in many cases that's the first toy that some of these kids have ever received," Espeland added.
The recently donated toys will be added to the the tall order the Salvation Army always faces this time of year; to make sure as many needy children as possible get toys for Christmas.