“We did well this year. We are in absolute good shape,” said Linda Blevins, collection site coordinator for Toys for Tots in Spalding, Pike, Fayette, Henry, Coweta, Butts, Lamar and Upson counties.
The overall goal of the campaign was to provide each of the approximately 2,000 children who applied with three toys. While this goal seems as if it could be achieved, a few age groups may still be short on toys. And when that happens, monetary donations from residents help out.
Or people like Asbury Carden.
Carden donated 88 handmade miniature cars to Toys for Tots, each of which takes him an average of three to four days to make.
“I gave about 80 (miniature cars) to Toys for Tots last year, so I thought I’d do it again this year,” he said.
The local retiree estimates that he has cut, sanded, painted and coated about 1,000 cars over the past 35 years. Many went to local churches and organizations.
Yet what sounds like factory-type production of wooden toys is really a hobby for Carden that has allowed him to be creative. Such as when he created 50 toy cars that have two quarters from each state in the United States embedded in them.
The project took him a long time, he said, because some of the quarters hadn’t been released yet. But the final outcome was worth the patience and hard work.
“A lot of times, I would sit in my basement and work until two or three in the morning,” he said.
Blevins said Toys for Tots officials are grateful for Carden’s donation.
“These cars are adorable,” said Blevins, adding that they will go to children who asked for toy cars, specifically in age groups that haven’t received enough donations of toys.