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Newsletter #78 August 2017

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Newsletter #78 August

2017

How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.

Wayne Dyer
 

Hello friends of The Happy Factory. Well, spring has sprung and you can tell by the snow we’ve been getting. I’m convinced that once we get past Mother’s Day we’re safe. Enjoy Spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is where I left off writing our newsletter.  Time flys. So I’ll pick up where I left off. Look what snuck in:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some letters from Our Friends:

 

Hey Happy Factory,

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write this. Last summer I contacted your company about getting two boxes of toys to bring down to Guatemala with me. We played Tetris with the toys, putting them in every little hallow we could find. I didn’t know what to expect when I got there, but I was excited. The people there changed my life. I know it sounds silly, and so typical, but they really did. I worked with a company called Cultiva International (http://cultivainternational.org/about/) and we built garden boxes with the locals in order to help them improve their health and become more independent. I loved working with the people and I learned so much. The kids were so helpful building the gardens and so afterwards, we would hand out the toy cars. We told the kids what a huge help they were and we let them know that we had thought of them long before we met them and brought something over for them. The cars were evidently made with the love and each child lit up as we passed them out. I found myself crying time and time again to see how excited they were to have them. They carried them around with them and raced them. They giggled as their eyes grew and they took their time picking the one that best suited them.

There was this one family down there that made a huge impact on me. They had six kids under the age of 12. They lived a little ways off the road in a small town outside of Pana. They had taken classes at Cultiva International and were ready for us to come in with the supplies to help them build the garden boxes. The young boys were so helpful when it came to carrying the heavy supplies. The little boys and girls giggled as they planted the vegetables. All in all, it was a really fun project. At the end of it, the women kindly offered to show us her house. It was small. One room, cement walls, a tin roof, and one small pile of blankets in the corner that served as a bed for the family. This was all they had. These kids had very little, but were so happy and kind. We let them each pick out a toy. The response was heart warming. They were so excited! Their smiles looked a mile wide. They now each had something of their very own.

By the time our trip came to end, we discovered a problem. The best kind of problem. Your company was so generous that we ended up with an extra box of toys. After a lot of debating over the best way to hand them out, we decided that we would leave them with the aid company to decid where they would best be needed. We found out later that some of them went to families and the others went to the local school. They said the kids were over joyed there are well.

I didn’t get nearly as many picture as I wanted, but here are a few that I wanted to share with you guys. Thank you for making this possible. Your time and generosity brings smiles and I can testify to that. Thanks again!

-Taylor

        

 

   

 

 

Hello Happy Factory,

I hope you are doing well and life is treating you wonderful!!  It was such a pleasant surprise to receive a box of toy cars!! Thank you so much for remembering Kids On The Move and families we serve.  The kids absolutely love to receive  them, as it puts the biggest smiles on their faces.

Thank you once again for your kindness and generous donation!!

Sincerely,

~Ruby

Ruby Haddock • Vice President of Development

Kids On The Move

 

 

I want to express my appreciation for the generous donations of wooden toy cars that you provided Youthlinc to take on our international humanitarian trip to Santa Isabel, Peru. This small village is located off the Amazon River about a 45-minute boat ride from Iquitos, Peru.

 

The children were thrilled with the toy cars. Thank you for providing such a service and providing smiles and happiness to so many children worldwide. The impact you made in this small community is indescribable.

 

With Appreciation,

 

Shelly Burningham

Youthlinc | Peru Team Leader

Hello Happy Factory,

 

This is a picture of Johnny Pentico, who has retired from Salt Lake County, but is an advocate for children who need legal guardians in the system.  He has been getting some toys from me to give to those children who perhaps have been taken from parents or find themselves orphans.  The program is called Guardians ad litum.  I connected with him at Christmas time last year and he asked about the toys, then recently asked if there were more.  I happily shared one of the boxes and asked for pictures.  Although they had to respectfully decline to provide pictures of the children, as some are at risk, he did want you to see how happy it makes the program directors to have these available for the children in the program.

 

I wanted you to have the cute picture!

 

Thanks,

Joan Southwick

Toy Fairy

Happy Factory!!!

 

 

Thank you so much for all your organization does to bring joy to children.  Will keep in touch and send you pictures when we are in Haiti.

 

Many blessings,

 

Kim Dahlgren

And here they are:

Hands free playing! J

 

 

A special thank you to our volunteer Jim Banks

Dear Jim,

Thanks you for your very generous gesture of kindness and concern for the abused and neglected children served by My Stuff Bags Foundation. This donation of beautiful, soft, knitted hats is an important component in our ability to continue delivering My Stuff Bags filled not only with new belongings, but also love, to thousands of children in crisis. The tiny hats you provide are especially important for the thousands of babies that must be rescued from unfit homes.

It warms our hearts to know that you believe in our mission to make a difference in a child’s life. Without the support of wonderful donors like yourself, we would not be able to provide My Stuff Bags to as many children as we do. On behalf of the children we serve, thank you again for your generosity.

With much appreciation,

Janeen Holmes

President/CEO

My Stuff Bags

(Jim makes beautiful knit hats and donates them)

 

 

Dear Happy Factory,

I’m sure that Wayne was watching and “tickled pink” that you sent cars as a memory of him. He so enjoyed coming to The Happy Factory and oiling cars. He said his eyesight was bad, but he could feel and still do a good job with his hands. You do a great service and so many have been blessed and cheered by your generosity.

Thanks you,

The Family of Wayne Shaw

 

 

Happy Factory

We just want to thank you for the amazing wood cars you sent with love for our students. Every one of our preschool and kindergarten students received one. The kinder got them at the end of transportation week! The preschool loves the digger as well.

Thank you

Heidi Sanger

Midvale Elementary

 

 

Dear Happy Factory,

Thank you so much to all who are involved in making the arrow of light for Benjamin. I know how much work it is to make them and so greatly appreciate all the time you dedicated on Bens behalf. Ben especially loves things crafted from wood and I know this is a special gift that he will treasure for many years to come. Thank you so much for your consideration. We love you all so much.

Love

Jenny & Ben Norton

 

 

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for the cars and trucks you sent us. We have some very excited little boys. The mission you have is very inspiring.

Sincerely,

Kaci Monison

Cherokee Home for Children

 

 

Well folks, that’s about it for now. I’ll work on getting out the next newsletter on time. No promises. Hope you are all having a wonderful summer and enjoying it with your families, OUTSIDE. J

The Happy Factory is preparing for its annual Gala. Coming soon. Hope to see you all there. Stay tuned for detailed information.

 

“Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt and dance like no one is watching.”

Randall G Leighton

 

 

 

“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, 2016), we have distributed over 1,417,414 toys to more than 125 countries.

 

“We take some wood that would be wasted,

Mix it with some time that would be wasted,

And make a toy to stimulate a mind so that it won’t be wasted”

Charles Cooley – Co- Founder

 

Anyone wishing to donate to the Happy Factory can do so on line through our Pay Pal link in the web site, (www.happyfactory.org ), or by sending a check to The Happy Factory, 896 North 2175 West Circle, Cedar City Utah, 84721. All donations, regardless of size, are much appreciated. Each dollar donated makes 2 toys. Thank you for your support.

 

 

Happy Factory Announces it’s 2016 Gala

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The Happy Factory is having a dinner party – and everybody is invited.

It’s Gala time again!  The 14th annual fundraising gala for the Happy Factory, and the sixth since the passing of co-founder Charles Cooley, will be held Thursday, October 27th in the Ballroom of the Sharwan Smith Center at Southern Utah University at 6:00 PM. The Gala Dinner is the annual fundraising event of the Happy Factory and the broad community support is greatly appreciated by co-founder Donna Cooley.

Southern Utah University, Cherry Creek Media and the Cedar City Rotary Club are, once again, a sponsor of the gala.    We urge everyone to continue their support for the Happy Factory as it continues to make high quality toys for underprivileged children around the world.

The Happy Factory is a non-profit charitable organization, founded by Charles and Donna Cooley who to date, has shipped well over 1,380,000 toys in the form of small cars and trucks. There are no paid positions at the Happy Factory. Time, materials, boxes, shipping, and almost everything needed to build a toy is donated to the Happy Factory. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a huge need to raise funds. It takes a substantial amount of funds every year to keep the Happy Factory going. The Happy Factory also makes steam shovels for the developmentally disabled.  The cars and steam shovels are not toys, but tools that can stimulate a child’s mind allowing them to think, become creative, and to cope with the world around them.

The more than one million toys have been delivered to more than 125 countries, to schools, hospitals, family shelters, churches, foundations, and many humanitarians’ organizations around the world.  Anyone can deliver toys during their travels.  Many local individuals have carried toys to children in need.  Many of these children never owned a toy or had anything else of their own before the gift of a Happy Factory toy.

You can assist in continuing the mission of the Happy Factory by attending the Gala, sponsoring part of the evening, and/or contributing an auction item.  You may also bring your skills to the Happy Factory and help make the little wooden cars that are filled with love.  The annual Gala is always an excellent event; reminding us that we are truly blessed and giving us the ability reach out to help others, especially the children of the world.  Many of the volunteers who donate time and talent will be in attendance.  Take the time to discover how you can become a part of the Happy Factory family.

Tickets to the Gala are $50 each or $400 for a table of eight.  If you cannot attend the Gala then a donation of $100 to $200 will create a lovely gift basket that will become a part of the silent auction.  Tickets to the Gala or a donation can be made by calling 435 586-8352 or visiting the Happy Factory located at 896 N 2175 West Circle in Cedar City.  A member of the gala committee will visit your business.

Auction Items will be sold in silent auction formats. Do you have an item or service you would like to contribute? Your generosity will be much appreciated. All local businesses and individuals that would like to contribute an auction item are encouraged to put something together and drop it off at the Happy Factory. These items are essential to the success of the Gala.

Sponsorship levels for the evening are as follows:

Dinner Sponsor, with a donation of $2,500, will receive eight tickets to the gala, special recognition at the Gala and will treasure the blessing that comes from sharing.  This contribution will cover many of the expenses of the evening to allow more of the evening’s contributions to go directly to the manufacture of the toys. They will also receive a matched set of cars and a steam shovel.

Steam Shovel Sponsors, with a donation of $1,500, will receive eight tickets to the Gala, recognition at the Gala, one steam shovel, and will understand the joy of being a benefactor to the Happy Factory allowing the creation of over 3,000 new toys.

Matched Car Set Sponsors, with a donation of $1,000, will receive eight tickets for the Gala, recognition at the Gala, one matched set of toy cars, and will feel gratitude for allowing the making of over 2,000 new toys for children. Southern Utah University and the Rotary Club are sponsors at this level.

Auction Sponsors, with a donation of $750 will receive four tickets to the Gala, recognition at the Gala and experience the joy of creating over 1500 new toys for children.

Table Sponsors, with a donation of $400, will receive eight tickets to the Gala, and know the peace of participating in sending cars all over the world and the creation of 800 new toys for children.

Thank you for considering The Happy Factory as a beneficiary of your time, effort and hard-earned money. You may also wish to volunteer to work at the Happy Factory.  You can make a child’s life brighter in many ways.  For more information on the Happy Factory call 435 586-8352 or visit www.happyfactory.org be sure to like The Happy Factory on Facebook.

 

By: Neal Smith

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 www.HappyFactory.org.

“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 mdrtfoundation.org.

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 mdrt.org.

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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By JENNIFER WEAVER
jweaver@thespectrum.com

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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ELIZABETH MILLER
emiller@thespectrum.com 

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.”