November 13, 2007

SIUC's Happy Factory chapter donates toys

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Children many miles away will have a blast with toys created by volunteers at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's chapter of the Happy Factory.

Sponsored by the Student Center Craft Shop, the Happy Factory is sending to Jamaica 100 pounds of wooden cars crafted by students, staff and community volunteers. Needy children will get the 142 handmade cars through the Blue Mountain Project in Hagley Gap, Jamaica.

The Happy Factory is a non-profit charitable organization producing high-quality hardwood toys, primarily small cars and trucks, for distribution to children throughout the world. The cars made in Carbondale will find their way into the hands of children during activities and holidays throughout the year.

The Blue Mountain Project is also a non-profit organization whose goal is educating and empowering the indigenous populations in developing countries. The project provides volunteer programs for people who want to travel to the small rural Jamaican mountain village and use their skills to improve local lives while learning about the culture and people. Current projects include helping with a medical clinic, day camps and more.

For more information about volunteering to make toys at the SIUC chapter of the Happy Factory, contact Ron Dunkel at 618/453-3636 or by e-mail at