Building Toys for Homeless Kids Attracts Local Volunteers, Groups -- Sawdust Shop Holds Annual Workshop to Benefit California Santa

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Santa Claus is coming to town by way of The Sawdust Shop, Sunnyvale's unique, full-service, do-it-yourself woodworking center. Thanks to the holiday spirit and volunteerism of local youth and community groups, churches and schools committed to building toys at owner Craig Colvin's wood workshop, hundreds of homeless children will receive special handmade gifts this Christmas time.

Santa Claus is coming to town by way of The Sawdust Shop, Sunnyvale's unique, full-service, do-it-yourself woodworking center. Thanks to the holiday spirit and volunteerism of local youth and community groups, churches and schools committed to building toys at owner Craig Colvin's wood workshop, hundreds of homeless children will receive special handmade gifts this Christmas time.

Since opening The Sawdust Shop in 2005, Colvin has taken time out during the hectic holiday season to donate tools, materials, shop time, staff and energy to the California Santa Project, a local organization created nine years ago to bring together area businesses and resources to provide toys for kids of all ages in homeless shelters throughout San Jose. Last year, the busy woodworking elves at Colvin's shop built hundreds of toys for the low-income children. This year, he plans to turn out at least 300 wooden treasures, including a colorful bendy guy, a three-car train and a bumble bee pull toy with spinning wings.

"People are looking for an opportunity to give back to the community in a meaningful way, especially when it involves bringing joy to less fortunate children during the holidays," said Colvin, who has grown his business over the past year-and-a-half to feature more woodworking classes and new instructors, increased his retail inventory multi-fold, and added a full staff. "The toy building event was a hit last year among local volunteers, and is in huge demand again this holiday season. Everyone benefits from this experience - the kids who receive and the builders who give."

Among the groups already scheduled to participate in the California Santa effort at The Sawdust Shop are the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Moose Lodge, Great Exchange Covenant Church and the art club from Homestead High School. Individuals and families are also encouraged to drop by for some seasonal fun building toys in Santa's workshop. No previous woodworking experience is necessary. Children ages eight and older are welcome when accompanied by and adult.

The toy building workshops are scheduled on five different days from November 18 through December 2 at The Sawdust Shop, 452 Oakmead Parkway in Sunnyvale. Visit the website at http://www.sawdustshop/santa for specific dates and times. Reservations are appreciated, but not required, and can be made by calling the shop at 408.992.1004. For information about the California Santa Project, visit http://www.californiasanta.com.

The Sawdust Shop

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, California, The Sawdust Shop is an independently owned and operated full-service woodworking center serving the local community since 2005. The Sawdust Shop is a unique concept combining woodworking education and retail supplies. Offering a variety of woodworking classes, a do-it-yourself woodshop, and a comprehensive woodworking retail store, The Sawdust Shop plans to become a franchise operation in the near future. For information, call 408.992.1004 or visit http://www.sawdustshop.com.

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KAREN MONROE
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