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


Online Newsletter #14

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We’re happy to announce the newest branches of the Happy Factory Family:

Dean Radford
PO Box 768
Thayne, WY 83127
(307) 883-3033
Keith Nave (summer)
429 W. Main Street
St. Anthony, ID 83445
(208) 624-7318
Keith Nave (winter)
13650 N. Frontage Road #1289
Yuma, AZ 85367
(928) 342-4772
Paul Robinson
24732 Rodeao Lane
Parma, ID 83660
(208) 722-6102

Our steam shovel projects for the special education classrooms throughout the state of Utah is going very well.  To date we have delivered about 80 steam shovels.  many of these have been delivered to the schools by the JAZZ BEAR. This meant that many of the little children got two treats – a steam shovel and a personal visit from BEAR. BEAR is very excited to help us with this project.  Look up his web site:

On March 16, 2001, we had a very pleasant surprise.  James E. Sorenson, his wife Beverly, and some members of his family dropped in unexpectedly at the Cedar City Happy Factory. Also in the group was Davis E. Sorensen, of the Presidency of the Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They were in Cedar City to dedicate the new SUU PE building that ears the name J.E. Sorenson Building.  President Sorensen offered the dedicatory prayer.  They all mentioned how impressed they were with The Happy Factory and the many volunteers who make it work.

On May 15, 2001, we had another surprise when a group of five dignitaries from Brazil came to the Happy Factory.  They were in Cedar City on an exchange program through Rotary International.  They were so impressed with the Happy Factory that they painted toys all morning and two of them came back in the afternoon.  They asked many questions, took many pictures and wanted to see every aspect of making toys.  They stated that they would like to have a branch on Campo Grande, Brazil within the coming year.

100,000th TOY
On May 1, 2001 the 100,000th toy came off the Happy Factory assembly line.  This toy, of course, represents all who participate because there is only one Happy Factory with 15 locations.  We all celebrate this landmark!

On March 28, 2001, the Happy Factory was invited to participate, along with some 40 other companies and organizations, in an open house at the Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City.  It was very interesting to see the various companies and the types of things they were producing to help the humanitarian efforts around the world.  There were things like food, educational materials, and of course – toys for needy children.  The Happy Factory booth was one of the most popular there.  While there, we met Marion Jenkins, President of the Beehive Foundation in Carlsbad, New Mexico.  He told us they were building a warehouse in Chihuahua, Mexico which will house a vocational school.  Mr. Jenkins expressed an interest in putting a Happy Factory in the school to teach the students to make toys for orphans in Mexico.  This sounds like an exciting opportunity for the Happy Factory.

After the earthquakes in El Salvador, the Humanitarian Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was notified that there were so many children in trauma that more help was needed.  A request was made for counselors to come to the aid of these children.  A group of counselors volunteered and were told what their assignment would be.  They agreed to go, and requested toys.  Someone from the Humanitarian Departments said that they personally witnessed many pallets of Happy Factory toys being sent to El Salvador.  We later received a letter from Garry Flake, Director of Humanitarian Services, asking us to thank the many people who had donated hours to help make that shipment possible.  He said the toys had a calming effect on the thousands of children who received them.

One day I went to the post office to pick up the mail.  There in the stack was a small envelope.  I noticed that the return address was just a street number in Toolele, Utah.  I opened it and there were two one dollar bills and a little yellow note with a paper clip.  the note said, “I’m sorry this is all that I can do.  Hope it will help.”  After working through my tears I finally got the two dollars back in the envelope.

We have received many donations, but this is one that i will never forget.  Two dollars – “Hope it will help.”

Two dollars will pay for five Happy Factory toys.  I bet there are five children somewhere in the world who would say, “It helps a lot.”

As you know, our time and most of our materials are donated.  We do however have some expenses as we make these toys, and as our production increases – so do our expenses.  if you are able, we would appreciate donations to help with the costs of the Happy Factory toys.  Every donation, whether in the form of time, materials, or funds will help us work to touch the lives of thousand of children.  We know it helps!