Will Carve for Children

Over the past twelve years, John Patton, his wife, and other members of the St. Louis Woodworkers’ Guild have carved over 21,000 wooden toys for children in local hospitals.

‘For the past 12 years, Patton and a group of woodworkers have quietly crafted toys and activity kits for children at local hospitals. Other than a handful of thank you notes, they’ve received little recognition for their labor. And the vast majority have never met the children who enjoy their work.

…After delivering toys to several hospitals on a recent Tuesday, Patton walked through his Crestwood home, pointing out what he and others have made during the years. There were tugboats and sailboats, cats, cars and a helicopter. There was a mouse with a tail made from a piece of twine.

He gestured to an elaborate wooden puzzle on the bar in his basement.

“We made 20 or 30 of these one year,” he said.

On that morning, his delivery included 124 wooden airplanes, trinket boxes, mice and cats.’

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The toys are delivered unfinished so that recovering children can paint them. ‘”It gives me an activity,” Patton said. “I enjoy it. . . . They [the children] need activities.”‘

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