|Local volunteers at the RSVP office take time to paint Bertley Jensen's toys.|
The Happy Factory, founded by Charles and Donna Cooley of Cedar City is a non-profit organization that provides toys to needy children worldwide.
It all started about five years ago when Charles Cooley, recently retired and searching for a hobby, took up woodworking. After buying a few tools, he began making lawn ornaments from patterns. Soon he graduated to toymaking (also from patterns). He thought of selling the toys at craft fairs, but in the end decided to take a different path; donating them to children's charities.
A huge need was discovered and it wasn't long before Charles and his wife Donna started seeking help from friends and volunteers to keep up with the demand. In addition to spreading joy to children all over the world, the toys play an integral role in the rehabilitation process for many children undergoing a variety of life threatening medical treatments.
Volunteers ranging from senior citizens to juvenile offenders handcraft toys from scrap hardwood donated by local woodworking companies. With no overhead costs or salaried employees at the Happy Factory, 100 percent of the donations received are used to manufacture the toys.
From it's minuscule roots in Cedar City, the Happy Factory has branched out to a total of nine locations in five states since 1995. The Happy Factory welcomes tax deductible donations.
In the Emery County area, Bertley Jensen is the branch manager. RSVP, senior citizens and relief societies paint the toys. Jensen at the present time, has the first batch of toys ready for shipment. Jensen sends them to the Happy Factory in Cedar City for distribution throughout the country and the world to hospitals for children in need.
For more information or to donate wood scraps, contact Bertley Jensen at 384-2315.