Have You Ever Wondered What the PVN Wood Workers Do?

Cars, Cars, Cars

by Judy Morris, PVN resident (this article was originally published in the July issue of The Village Bugle)

An early Saturday morning visit to the PVN woodshop is filled with the buzz of electric saws as our own “elves” prepare Christmas toys for children in need of these cars handcrafted with love.  How did our wood crafters find this project? Who are our wood crafters?  Where do they meet, and how does one become part of this hobby?

Joe Brockette was instrumental in getting donated space in the old gardening and landscaping building.  Bill Austin joined him and was instrumental in the PVN woodworkers affiliating with the non-profit Hobby Crafters, founded by Dr. Arch McNeill seventy years ago.  Dr. McNeill made toys for his patients’ children.  Other woodworkers joined him, and the output grew to 10,000 toys per year.  They were adopted by a foundation that bought a warehouse in Garland and furnished it to them for one dollar a year.  Non-profits in Dallas make applications for the toys made by volunteers.  Besides the cars in which the PVN woodshop specializes, other toys such as cradles, strollers, trucks and pull-toys for children one-to-six years old are crafted by volunteers.  The non-profits pick up the toys in November; about 6,500 a year go out to kids in need.

Currently, the PVN Woodworkers have 32 members.  Training in using the tools is available.  Alan Smith, the Safety Director, orients new members to safety and first aid.  Once trained, workers attend regular shop hours on Saturdays from 9-12 in the morning, or any two can schedule work time during the week.  The crew has produced 120 roadsters, trucks and jeeps so far, and is working on the next batch.

Both men and women participate in woodworking.  A group of women are meeting Thursdays in the Arts and Crafts room to paint cars.  The priorities of this group, besides fun and satisfaction for the members, are: kids’ toys and bringing new woodworkers into the fold.