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Green Hills Donates Holiday Toys to YSS Children

Residents from Green Hills Community, a retirement and assisted living facility in Ames, made a surprise visit to YSS in early December. Their mission? To deliver handmade wooden toys for kids in YSS programs.

According to Green Hills staff, the community boasts one of the most expansive and safest woodshops in Ames. Woodworking is a hobby for many of the residents, especially Bruce Munson, Don Dyer, and Vikki Morain.

After browsing a magazine with several articles and images of wooden toys, they said, “We could make those in our woodshop.” Dyer proposed the idea to donate the toys to YSS for the holidays.

Throughout the process, Munson, Dyer, and Morain had full creative authority—gathering the wood, producing drawings and prototypes, and creating a custom mineral bee’s wax oil to finish the products. The wheels and axels for moveable toys were purchased; all other parts were created in the Green Hills woodshop. Every toy is a free-hand creation.

Altogether, the residents each donated 12-15 hours of their time to make 35 vehicles, 10 tops, and 1 whistle.

The toys were donated to YSS’s Nest program, which provides educational classes and helps provide mothers with baby clothing, supplies, and equipment. During the classes, YSS offers free childcare in a nursery.

“The families at the Nest class were so grateful for the donated wooden toys. The children loved playing with them during class time,” said Erin Hall, YSS Family Development Lead. “We were amazed at the quality of the toys. Thank you, Green Hills residents, for thinking of our families during the holidays this year!”

“I couldn’t think of a better way to give back to the greater community,” said Green Hills Executive Director Kat Kilbane. “Being able to have our residents involved in making the holidays better for families in-need warms my heart and the hearts in our community.”

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