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The Happy Factory Receives Grant from Million Dollar Round Table Foundation

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04-08-2015: The MDRT Foundation has awarded a $5,600 grant to The Happy Factory, a non-profit organization, based in Cedar City, Utah.

Through its global grants, the MDRT Foundation is committed to building stronger families and communities around the globe. This year, the MDRT Foundation will award nearly $1 million in MDRT member-endorsed grants to more than 100 charitable organizations worldwide.

Representing the MDRT Foundation, Rex P. Shipp, CLU, ChFC, presented this grant to The Happy Factory on 04-08-2015 at the Cedar City facility.

The Happy Factory is a 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization devoted to making quality, but simple toys to be distributed to underprivileged and physically challenged children here and around the world in an effort to improve their quality of life. Many of these children live in the worst of poverty.  These toys are made from donated scrap hardwood with entirely donated labor, there is no payroll.

The Happy Factory goal is to provide that critical first step in changing lives with their simple toys. Along with stimulating the young minds and imaginations, the toys help generate self-esteem and create a trust between the child and the people dedicated to helping them improve their lives day to day. Their special wooden steam shovels help handicapped and challenged children develop muscle as well as mental performance and coordination. Last, and most importantly, they all produce smiles and good feelings.

The Happy Factory not only improves the lives of those who receive, but also enriches the lives of those who volunteer their service. The Happy Factory is a win win situation. Visit

“We may not be able to make a toys for every child in the world who needs one, but we’re going to try”, Charles Cooley, co-founder. To date, (March, 2015), we have distributed over 1,295,000 toys to more than 125 countries.

The MDRT Foundation was created in 1959 to provide MDRT members with a means to give back to their communities. Since its inception, the Foundation has donated more than $29 million in more than 70 countries throughout the world and in all 50 U.S. states. These funds were raised by MDRT members and industry partners. For more information, visit

The MDRT Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Million Dollar Round Table, The Premier Association of Financial Professionals®. MDRT is an international, independent association of nearly 42,000 of the world’s best life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 80 countries and territories. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional product knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of sales excellence in the life insurance and financial services business. For more information, visit

Rex Shipp tries The Happy Factory Wares. Rex Presented the check on behalf of the MDRT Foundation.

Thanks Rex!

By: Douglas J. Carr

The Happy Factory at the Iron County Fair Parade

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The Happy Factory was pleased to participate in the Iron County Fair Parade this year. The theme of our float was “American’s Volunteers”. Jack Hayes manages to put together a fine array of flags and signs for the float. Thanks Jack! We had a great turnout and everyone had a wonderful time. The driver managed to scare everyone at the end by barely missing the low hanging power lines with our large American flag that was standing straight up. The flag was one that flew over the White House. That would have been a shocker!

Thanks for a great day Happy Factory Volunteers!

America watches Cedar City Around the nation, people tune in to ‘Three Wishes’

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CEDAR CITY – While the lights in the Southern Utah University Sharwan Smith Center ballroom were off, there was sniffling and sobs from those viewing a large screen set-up there.

When the lights flipped on, men, women and children could be seen wiping away tears.

The cause was a community pajama party, sponsored by the Cedar City Area Chamber of Commerce and the Cedar City & Brian Head Tourism Bureau, that brought more than 100 people together to view the NBC-Universal reality show “Three Wishes” that featured Cedar City.

“I’ve been volunteering at The Happy Factory, in fact I volunteered there today with two of my five children, and to see their faces as they watched the show and learned where the toys they made were going was wonderful,” said Allison Sproul. “They just stared at the screen and it was neat.”

The Happy Factory, a non-profit wooden toy company, was granted one of three wishes by the television series. The Cedar City Fire Department and Nicole Rasmussen were the other recipients. Filming took place in August for the segment that aired Friday.

When the host of the show, Amy Grant, announced the segment was in Cedar City, the crowd broke out in thunderous applause and cheers, followed by an array of emotions right up until the running of credits.

The plight of Rasmussen – a mother who’d lost her sight from a bacterial infection in her brain – instantly turned the joviality into compassion. The show showed her climbing a rock surface and crossing busy downtown Main Street. Her wish was to take her young daughter, Payton, to a park to play in her own neighborhood.

When she was granted the play park and read the Braille lettering that revealed it had been named after her daughter, she shed tears of gratitude, which were shared with those at the party via the TV screen.

That crying was soon replaced with laughter when Donna Cooley of the Happy Factory gently reminded Grant to “hold tight” as she pressed a wooden truck against a sander. The music artist responded, “I will,” only to have the toy fling up and narrowly miss her head.

However, tears welled again when Charlie Cooley and his wife received a new workshop in Salt Lake City complete with $50,000 in shipping costs paid for by Federal Express. They also received the chance to meet some Nicaraguan children who received their toys.

A new box truck valued at $40,000 was also donated by International to the Factory and is on display in the parking lot at SUU. It’s appearance was made possible from Mark Kohler, who drove the vehicle from Las Vegas.

“NBC granted wishes that will enable all the recipients to keep perpetuating love and give gifts like they’ve been doing and want to continue doing,” said Kohler.

When a $1.6 million 100-foot aerial platform truck and a 4,000 gallon water tanker for the fire department rolled in across the screen from a wish made by 9-year old Michaela Pickering, Yvonne Wood beamed.

The little girl credited the fire department for saving her life when she put the skills taught to her to use when she escaped the burning home of a friend. That unselfish example is why Wood’s company, Liberty Mutual, followed suit and donated the new vehicles, she said.

“I am so proud to be a part of this whole thing, that my company would fork out a large amount of money to the Cedar City Fire Department, that is so deserving,” said Wood. “This event, the show and the people here, prove just how special Cedar City is.”

NBC renewed the unscripted series also on Friday for six more episodes, bringing the total number of episodes ordered to sixteen. The announcement was made by Kevin Reilly, president of NBC Entertainment.

Originally published November 5, 2005

‘Three Wishes’ smiles on Happy Factory

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CEDAR CITY — Without even knowing the wish he was granted, Happy Factory co-founder Charles Cooley was speechless about the fact that the nationally televised show “Three Wishes” would promote his non-profit organization.

“The whole Happy Factory is overwhelmed,” Cooley said. “I don’t sleep at nights — I’m still trying to imagine what’s going on and what will happen.”

Cooley and his wife, Donna, did not make the wish that initially connected them to the show, but once the communication started rolling, they did make another wish — that the organization would have enough money for its annual budget, $60,000.

The Happy Factory makes wooden toys and donates them to children throughout the world. All of the materials, equipment, labor and shipping is donated, but a large part of the company’s annual budget — $35,000 — is strictly for toy wheels and axles.

“Three Wishes” hostess Amy Grant spent Tuesday morning at the Happy Factory, and as she learned about the process, she even made her own toy. But when it was time for the wish to be revealed, the public was excused, and the wish has yet to be made public.

Grant spent time talking to Donna Cooley about how the Cooleys never travel to deliver any of the toys, and while one might speculate a trip is in store, there are no definite answers as to what was gifted.

Happy Factory board member LynAnn Ellsworth, who was volunteering, echoed Charles Cooley’s wish, saying the budget is crucial to the organization.

“Cedar City is so generous, but this is a worldwide humanitarian effort. It’s hard for Cedar City to support a world wide effort,” she said.

Ellsworth said the exposure of The Happy Factory alone is a wish come true.

“This TV show will give us national exposure, which we hope with time will turn into national support so the Happy Factory will never have to stop making toys,” she said.

As all this was going on, there were cameras and crews moving around, but it truly was unscripted television. There were no cue cards, no teleprompters, and the only time the camera was turned off was if something conflicted with the shot.

Executive Producer Andrew Glassman watched monitors in another room, and even his stage cues were kept to a minimum.

“I don’t think I’ve ever known a group of people as nice as these here,” Charles Cooley said. “They must produce a good show for the kind of people they are.”

Online Newsletter #25

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The concrete is poured and the new facility is now under construction. We should be moving in about February 2004. We want to give a special thanks to all of those who have donated money, the sub-contractors and lumber companies who have donated time and material. To the Cedar City Corporation and the whole community for their support and a very special thanks to Ed Collins of XL Builders who is donating the time and management as general contractor of our new facility.

We have received a wonderful offering from The James R. Greenbaum, Jr. Family Foundation. For each dollar from this date forward for the building project that The Happy Factory actually receives a commitment for and also then receives the money before the end of this year, and each dollar for which The Happy Factory receives a commitment before the end of this year with the monies to be paid during the first quarter, 2004, The James R. Greenbaum, Jr. Family Foundation will contribute a dollar to The Happy Factory this calendar year, with a cap of $25,000.

Children’s Miracle Network

The Children’s Miracle Network is a Foundation that provides assistance to 172 children’s hospitals throughout the United States. In a recent meeting we had with them they were very excited to find out about our toys and steam shovels. They told about The Happy Factory in their news bulletin, and we have received requests, so far, from 15 hospitals and have started shipping their orders. These items will be used in their therapy and rehabilitation departments.

Navajo Nation

November 25, 2003, two pickup trucks and four men arrived from The Navajo Nation Headquarters at Window Rock, Arizona to pick up 5000 toys and 10 steam shovels for their Head Start Christmas Program. Here’s the letter that we received from them:

The Happy Factor, inc. It is important to preserve the spirit of good will this holiday season for your loving and dedicated approach in donating 5,000 wooden toys to our Navajo children enrolled in the Head Start and Early Head Start programs across the Navajo Nation.

To you and the volunteers of The Happy Factory, Inc., we want to-say “thank you” for helping us make a difference in our children’s lives. Without these wooden toys, our Head Start Centers would not be the special place it is for many of our Navajo children and families. We experience many hours of joy in teaching our children and, The Happy Factory have recharged our spirits to bringing excitement on the faces of our children as they come into the classroom every day.

Working with wonderful people like you is always refreshing and stimulating, and never more so than within the last couple of months. Happy Holidays!

Lolita Spencer

Assistant Department Manager

Department of Head Start

When we had our meeting in Window Rock, AZ, Lolita told us that as a child she grew up in a Hogan and the only toy she ever remembered having was one old shoe.


December 15, 2003, the Sandy Branch of The Happy Factory was shown on two Salt Lake City television stations, channel 5 and channel 13. They showed a new project that the prison is involved with. The prisoners had just painted 1100 toys for The Happy Factory. They did a beautiful job. Some of the prisoners expressed what a wonderful feeling it gave them to be doing something good for others, especially little children.

This will probably be a continuing rehabilitation program at the point of the mountain and perhaps to other prison facilities. It seems that The Happy Factory concept can work anywhere.

My Thoughts

I was thinking about this time of year. This is a time of giving, and the simple concept of serving, called The Happy Factory. This organization is not like many other charitable organizations. It owns no penthouses, has no limousines, pays no large fees, or salaries to trustees and officers. The Happy Factory owns one piece of property and it is a place where people can spend some of their time and contribute money and materials to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of little children. Everyone who participates in The Happy Factory gives, no one takes anything back, except “service to others is it’s own reward.”

What a wonderful, simple organization it is and it is owned by no one. It belongs to all of us.

May peace be with all of you at this time of year and always.

Charles T. Cooley, President

I tried to teach

My child with books
He gave me only
Puzzled Looks.


I tried to teach

My child with words;
They passed him by
Often unheard.



I turned aside
“How shall I teach
This child?” I cried


Into my hand

He put the key
“Come,” He said
“And play with me”
(Author unknown)


We may not be able to make a toy for every child in the world who needs one, but we’re going to try.

Our new address is:
896 North 2175 West
Cedar City, UT 84720

Motto: We may not be able to make a toy for every child in the world who needs one, but we’re going to try.

Online Newsletter #24

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We now have two new branches to The Happy Factory family. This brings our total branches to 24. Number 23 is Bruce Wilkinson,3431 W500N, Vernal, UT. Number 24 is Bertley R. Jensen 160 W 200 N, Ferron, VT.


The Gala held August 14th was a huge success. We still have people telling us what a wonderful evening it was. Mark Kohler was the Chairman and conducted the Gala Donna & Chases Cooley gave a brief history that brought us up to date. The Happy Factory has now delivered more than a quarter of a million toys, and 600 steam shovels to children around the world. LynAnne Ellsworth then told about the new facility and what a wonderful opportunity it will give our community. She stressed how important it is for those who can to contribute the dollars needed to build this new facility. Any donation larger or small will he welcomed. Then Thurl Bailey took over. And what a performance he gave. His beautiful songs touched everyone and the story of his childhood dream and how it came true. He then, at the close of his performance, took a little Happy Factory toy out of his pocket, held it up and said, all kids have dreams and The Happy Factory toys makes many of those dreams come true. I don’t think there was a thy eye in the house.


On September 23, 2003 we bad the ground breaking for the new facility at 896 N 2175 W Circle, Cedar City, UT. That’s north on the airport road. Those present included The Happy Factory Trustees, the fund raising committee, mayors from area towns, clergy from the religious organizations in our community, a youth choir from the North Elementary fourth grade de sang two songs. After a prayer by Jim Banks, and a brief ceremony, the dignitaries parted and the two little steam shovel operators, Austin (4) k. Dustbin (5) Palmer broke the ground.


A small child moved to Cedar City with his parents. They were a family with very little means. The little boy was able to be in the Head Start program. A circus came to Cedar City in the fall. His parents could not afford to take the children to the circus but said they could go see the animals. The Happy Factory had provided toys for the Head Start children. The little boy was given a choice to pick out a toy of his very own. He picked out an elephant because he saw one at the circus. They told us he took it to bed with him and held it constantly. That was his circus. They moved back east and were in a terrible accident. The boy was in a coma and had trauma for some time. When he came out of his coma, the first thing he wanted was the elephant (his circus.)


A couple of years ago we were visiting friends of ours in Salt lake City. We were telling them about the steam shovels we had just delivered to Shriners Children’s hospital and how the head therapist there mentioned how much she loved the steam shovels. Our friend mentioned that her sister-in-law worked at the Jordan Valley School in Murray. We asked what the Jordan Valley School was and she told us that it was a seal for handicapped children. We had an extra steam shovel in the car and left it with her for her sister-in-law to take to school. About a week later we got a telephone call from John Gardner, the Principal of the school.  He thanked us for the steam shovel and he said, “That it has caused more chaos than anything they had ever had, but it was beautiful chaos, can we get three more?” We said, “Of course.” Shortly after that we delivered three more to the school He gave as a tour and we were so impressed at the wonderful people who work with those children. He told us that they have 212 students and they represent every level of disability. Most of them have sound minds but many have bodies that do not cooperate. Most of them cannot communicate. We were told of one ten-year old boy who had slight use of one hand and arm, but could not communicate. When they brought a steam shovel into the room, this little fellow got so excited and they didn’t why. One of the staff investigated and found out that the little boy’s father was a backhoe operator. They made sides and a back to put over the steam shovel cab to support him, but they had to support his hands on the levers. He could slightly move one lever. He developed to where he could move that lever more. They put a shaft with an indicator on his wheelchair arms and he could move it enough to point to six icons. One would say, I’m hungry or another would say, I’m thirsty, and so on. He has now developed enough strength that he can operate the lever to indicate 32 different icons and for the first time in his ten years of life he can now communicate. Mr. Gardner told us that many of these children have no incentive to develop their muscles but the steam shovel gives them that incentive. Isn’t it wonderful to be part of an organization that through the toys and the steam shovels can have such a positive effect on so many children?


We have delivered 35 steam shovels to the Clark County School District in Las Vegas Nevada for their special need program.

In a recent meeting at Window Rock AZ. we met with the administrators of their Head Start Program. They were so excited to find out that we could deliver 5,000 toys for their Head Start Christmas. It looks like they will need some steam shovels for their special needs locations.

Because The Happy Factory needs keep growing sad we’ve started our new building, we need your help. Please give what you can to help this great work continue. Thank You


Motto: We may not be able to make a toy for every child in the world who needs one, but we’re going to try.

Online Newsletter #23

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On April 14, 2003, Ian Hearne was approved as Branch Manager of branch number 22 of The Happy Factory in Woodly, Berkshire, England.  Ian has had many years of experience in the construction business and says there are a lot of good people there who would like to server little children.  Welcome to The Happy Factory family.  With this branch in England and one in Brazil, that makes the Cedar City Happy Factory World Headquarters.

We have learned over the years that The Happy Factory branch managers are a very special type of people.  They all own and maintain their shops and equipment, find their own wood supply, and provide a facility where The Happy Factory toys can be made.  All of this is at their own expense; they are out of pocket every month to make this process work.  If you have chance when you are helping, picking up toys to paint, or any other reason, just thank them for all of their efforts that make this service for little children so successful.  The Happy Factory has now delivered more than 235,000 toys worldwide.

The latest project for the Cedar City branch is to provide 50 steam shovels to the Clark County Nevada Board of Education.  These will be used for the little children in their special needs program.  We thank the Las Vegas Yellow Cab Company for their generous donation that made this project possible.
We had a nice experience at the Fiddler’s Elementary the other day.  One of the students took a steam shovel to school for a project about The Happy Factory.  One of the classmates was little Tony who is autistic and they have difficulty getting him to use the therapy equipment.  When he saw the steam shovel he wanted to get on it.  He did, and he stayed there most of the day.  We were later asked if there was any way Tony could get a steam shovel to take home to help him with this therapy.  In talking to the teacher, it was decided that The Happy Factory would provide one toy for each pupil for them to paint and keep for their very own and in addition to a toy; Tony would get his steam shovel.  The children were so excited and a day or two later we received this big poster that said how beautiful the toys turned out and that Tony gave every one of them a turn on his steam shovel.

Things are going well for our purposed new building.  Blackburn & Associates have been awarded the bid as the general contractor.  The appraised value of the building will be $161,3000.  It is a 40′ x 80′ (3200 sq. ft.) It is a pre-engineered steel truss building that will be fully insulated, a fire sprinkling system, rest rooms and the corporate office.  It will be fully air-conditioned and have an outside dust collector system.  The parking lot will be black top and the front of the lot will be landscaped.  It will be a first class facility.  There will be an area for our steam shovel production, an area for toy production and an area that will accommodate 80 or 90 people for various humanitarian service projects.
There will be a catalog that groups or individuals can look at to decide what projects they would like.  We will provide the guidelines and the list of materials that they will have to furnish for the project ( we do not subsidize any project.)  This new facility will be available to Individuals or groups in the evenings by appointment.  All projects will be supervised and the quality will be controlled.  This will be a great facility for all ages to participate in doing service, from kindergarten through senior citizen.
This will be a Happy Factory Service Center and a great facility for up lifting the lives of many in our community.
Our fund raising committee is well organized and very excited about this new building.
There will be a thermometer on the corner of main and 200 North that will show the progress of donations.  The Jazz Bear will be promoting The Happy Factory June 12, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm on the lawn south of the SUU Centrum in conjunction with Utah Summer Games.  We will be participating with fund raising activities July 4th and will have a booth at the July Jamboree, July 12th at the City Park.  There will be a black tie dinner August 14th and Thurl Bailey will head the program.  We will be participating with the Iron County Fair and other events that may come available.

One day when I picked up the mail, I noticed a small envelope that just had a street address and Tooele, UT, for the return address.  I was curious and opened the envelope and there were two one-dollar bills, a little yellow memo sheet in a paper clip.  The memo said, “This is all I can do, I hope it will help.”  When my vision came back, I put it back in the envelope, and I thought, it costs us 40 cents to make  a toy; that’s 2 1/2 tows for a dollar.  “Two dollars, hope it will help.”  I think there are five children somewhere in the world that think it helped a lot.
We ask you for your help in this great undertaking.  We fell that a donation to The Happy Factory is more like an investment in the future of little lives.
Please make checks payable to The Happy Factory, Inc. or The Happy Factory, Inc. facility Fund.  Thank You

Online Newsletter #22

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Some people say they don’t mind profess as long as it doesn’t change anything.  That’s about the way I feel.  Because of the progress of The Happy Factory, it looks like some changes are necessary.
About four years ago Dave Grant, President of MTI, and I met.  He was interested in The Happy Factory and asked what our plans for the future were.  I told him that we someday needed to move to a larger facility in town because we had out grown our shop that was in our garage an we were too far from town.  He said, “We just bought the Coleman building, would you like to move in there?”  My chin dropped to the floor in disbelief.  They donated the space, rewired it to accommodate our equipment, put in lights and the telephone and there was the new Happy Factory.
Because of the generous offer, The Happy Factory began to grow and now has twenty-one branches and has produced more than 220,000 toys that have been sent to children all over the world.
Whoever designed that building didn’t know about The Happy Factory, and the demand for service groups and management requirements has made it necessary that we make some changes.
The Board of Trustees has determined that the best way to accommodate our growing needs it to build our own building.
This new building will be 40′ X 80′ (3200 square feet.) It is pre-engineered steel truss building that will be fully insulated, have a fire sprinkler system, rest rooms, an office, air conditioning and an outside dust collector system.  The parking will be black top and the front of the lot will be landscaped.  It will be a first class facility that will be able to accommodate up to 50 people for service projects.  It will be located in the Coal Creek Industrial Park off the Airport road.  The estimated cost will be $106,500.  We are a tax-exempt company and donations are tax deductible.
We are setting up a fund raising committee and welcome all donations for the building.  Checks should be made out to The Happy Factory Facilities Fund and sent to The Happy Factory, P.O. Box 811, Cedar City, UT 84721.
Again, thanks to Dave Grant and MTI for making this all possible.  Dave Grant told me the other day that progress requires changes and he and MTI will always support The Happy Factory in every way they can.

New Branches
We want to welcome two new branches to The Happy Factory Family.

Branch #20
James L. Walker
330 Walker Street
Moab, UT 84532
Branch #21
John Stewart
345 Alex Drive
Dahlonega, GA 30533

Humbling Experience
A few weeks ago Garry Flake and his wife stopped in to The Happy Factory. (Garry Flake ahs been the Director of the Humanitarian Department of the LDS Church and is now Director of Emergency Response of the Humanitarian Department of the LDS Church.)  They had been invited to Cedar City to give a talk to the Rotary International luncheon.  He said that on the way down, this thought occurred to him “One of the best examples of Humanitarian service in the WORLD is right here among us.  It’s called The Happy Factory.”
When you think about it he’s probably right.  For example, last year, The Happy Factory (that’s ALL BRANCHES) produced 62,189 toys and 207 steam shovels.  That represents 25,102 service hours.  Thanks to the thousands of people who donated time, money or material representing the tens of thousand of service hours to provide the hundreds of thousand of toys for children.

Special Story
This story was shared with The Happy Factory.  Missionary couple in Moldova:

I need to tell you about our first experience with the wooden toys from The Happy Factory.  We didn’t know until last spring that such things were even available.  However, when the first container arrived in Moldova, it was medical supplies, and unbeknownst to either of us, there were some children’s clothes, school kits, and wooden toys that had been include din the container, even though they hadn’t been ordered.  Our consignee took us to the long-term pediatric orthopedic section of the Republican hospital so that we could be there when the children received the things.  The parents of the children had dressed them in their best and were waiting, eagerly, when we arrived.  The children were absolutely quiet as they looked into the box and chose their toys.  The mothers, as you would imagine, were all smiles.  The nurses told us that that was the only time when anyone had brought things for the children.
If you could see the star, barren halls and walls of that hospital, you would realize how much those things were appreciated.  My husband went into a room to shake hands with the two children who were playing with their toys.  Not being quite as friendly and gregarious as my husband, I stayed in the hall.  But I saw the looks on the faces of those children as he approached.  They were only five or six years old, but I knew that they thought he was coming to take the toys back.  Instead, of course, he smiled, shook hands, and waved goodbye, and as he walked away, I saw the children relax and wave and go back to their toys.  It was a very touching experience and The Happy Factory needs to know how much those things mean to the children who have nothing.
We want to tank all of you who participate for realizing that it is not our responsibility to make our children worthy of the World, rather to make the World worthy of our children.

Motto: We may not be able to make a toy for every child in the world who needs one, but we’re going to try.

Online Newsletter #21

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Next month “The Happy Factory, Inc.” will be five years old.  What a wonderful five years it has been.  What started out in a 10′ X 20′ shop by two people has grown into an organization of 19 locations and has touched the lives of thousands of people all over the world.  Everyone who participates in The Happy Factory, Inc., becomes a member, whether it is someone who gives or whether it is someone who receives.

The Happy Factory has had national recognition in Family Circle and People magazines.  It has been featured on all of the Salt Lake City TV stations, many state and local newspapers, including a centerfold in the Deseret News, LDS Church News section.  The Happy Factory is a Registered Trade Mark with the U.S. Patent Office, and the list goes on and on.

The Happy Factory is not about two people; it is about a lot of good people giving of themselves in a common cause to help children all over the world who are in need.

Hugh Nibley wrote: “For charity there is no bookkeeping, no d3ealers, interest, and bargaining or ulterior motives.  Charity gives to those in need and expects nothing in return; it is the love God has for us, and the love we have for little children, of whom we expect nothing, but for whom we would give anything.”

This is the Lord’s work. It would not have happened without His help and guidance.  We see evidence of this every day.  So many positive things happen that we simply have no control over, making it obvious to us that this is indeed His work.  We are so grateful to have the opportunity to serve in an organization to make toys for some of His little ones.

Can you imagine a little child sitting alone in rubble or in an orphanage with nothing? Some children don’t even have a name. Many learn to turn off their minds and live in a stupor of nothingness.

Can you imagine what it does for them when they get a toy, and find out it is their very own?  Education experts tell us that these toys can often turn these children’s entire lives around.  It gives them hope.  It’s like a security blanket.  They hug it.  They sleep with it.  They may feel for the first time.  It triggers their imagination and starts the learning process.

At this time of year we remember the birht of our Saviour and the service He gave for all of us.  We also think about the needy little children, our families, and pray for peace in the world so those in the armed forces may return to their families.

We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.

Motto: We may not be able to make a toy for every child in the world who needs one, but we’re going to try.

Online Newsletter #16

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On July 17, 2001, a very special event occurred for the Happy Factory.  We received notice from the United States Patent Office that The Happy Factory has been approved as a registered trademark.  A trademark is more than just a symbol or design.  A trademark sets our product apart from all others.  It gives notice to the world that this is special and distinct, and no one can use or imitate this concept.  A trademark is an expression.  It is our individual way of getting our message, thoughts and ideas across to the public.  It is a symbol of pride, one that we want people to see.  It is a symbol of our company’s achievement.  We sincerely appreciate and want to thank Tom Higbee and a friend of his, Greg Madsen, of Salt Lake City, for making this all happen.  Both of them spent a lot of time and expense in bringing this about.

Many of you probably are not aware that Tom Higbee did all of the original legal work to incorporate the Happy Factory.  A friend of his, Jim Wilson, an accountant, did the work to get us qualified for an IRS 501c3 rating, which makes donations tax deductible.

During the past year Tom Higbee has become a Judge and therefore has had to step down as a trustee and is no longer able to do the legal work for The Happy Factory.  We congratulate Tom on this great achievement.

Replacing Tom, is Mark Kohler.  He will do the legal work and fill the trustee position that Tom left vacant.  Thanks Mark.

We would like to announce the appointment of another new trustee, John Absey.  He is with the Utah JAZZ Promotions.  he will be a big help to us in our up coming fund raising projects.

On June 30, 2001 we were invited to put a booth at the Cross hollow Arena Grand Opening.  We raffled off a steam shovel.  It was a great event.  Many people came by the booth and we found you don’t need an instruction manual to teach a kid how to operate a steam shovel.  thanks to Frank DelDuca for over-seeing the steam shovel project.  He may have had more fun than the kids did.

In July, we got a call from Harry Brown, who is with Electro Management, Inc.  He asked us if we would donate a few toys for a playhouse that they were building for a raffle at Thanksgiving Point.  All of the proceeds would be going to Ronald McDonald House.  Their theme was Teddy Bear Hollow and they needed some Teddy Bears sketched for various sponsors.  We said we would do it, but didn’t have a clue where to start.  Jeremy Wilson came to mind and he agreed to design the bears.  They were so cute and appropriate for the sponsors and the occasion.  The Teddy Bear Hollow Playhouse received first place over all.

We would like to recognize Thurl Baily for his contributions to The Happy Factory.  He has two wonderful basketball camps each year.  One in St. George and one in Murray, Utah.  Through his foundation, he gives financial support to the Make a Wish program and also the the Happy Factory.  Thank you Thurl!

Charlie tells the following story about his friend Ken Benson:  “I’m sure most of you don’t know Ken Benson, some of you do.  About 30 years ago, Ken was the Student Activity Director at SUSC (now Southern Utah University).  He was a very active individual.  He organized more activities, parties, dances, sports functions, and Dutch oven cook outs than they had ever had before.  About 27 years ago, Ken was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.  For the past 20 years or so he has been beautiful mind trapped in a prison of a body that doesn’t work.  His muscles don’t work right, and his speech is slurred, but his mind is just a sharp as ever.  A few months ago, Donna and I went to visit him at the rest home where he now lives.  He communicates using an old manual typewriter and he can usually hit enough of the right keys that you can figure out what he is trying to say.  He typed a note thanking us for coming and telling how proud he was of The Happy Factory.  For a few days after that visit, I couldn’t get Ken out of my mind.  I tried to think of something Ken might be able to do.  One day we took ten toys, some wheels, axle pegs, glue and a mallet to see if Ken could put the wheels on the toys.  I showed him how to do the first wheel and he took the toy out of my hand and started putting on the next wheel.  I told him that I would leave them and that there was no quota, it would be great if he would do one a month or if he couldn’t do any, it was okay too.  Two or three weeks later we got a call and Ken wanted more toys.  We took him 25 toys.  In a week they called for more toys.  We took him about 50 toys.  Now, every Monday morning, we deliver more than 100 toys.  One day he typed a note that said that he was devoting all of his time putting wheels on toys for little children around the world.  Can you imagine the love that a child must feel when they receive a toy that Ken Benson has wheeled?  Mathew 25:40 in as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these by brethren, ye have done it unto me.  We appreciate Ken for the reminder.”

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson