Two local men are giving back this holiday with homemade gifts. Scott Cooper and Kurt Grunwald made gifts for children benefiting from programs at the Family & Children's Center. They dropped off 40 gift bags at the center on Main Street Wednesday. Included in the bags are handmade toboggans. This is the 18th year they've been making toys and the 10th year they've given them to FCC.
The handmade toys are different every year. Both Scott and Kurt work at UW-La Crosse and some students helped paint the toboggans.
"It's become kind of a tradition now, we have five wood working elves all together and a lot of different groups on campus donate money to help buy the little accessory toys. It's kind of like stone soup, they throw stone in a pot and everyone else puts something in, this is kind of wood soup we put one little board and all this stuff comes from other people," said Cooper.
"This year we have little toboggans so these are actually from an ash tree and then we cut it into thin boards and steamed it and bent it so they're just like you'd make a toboggan so they're sturdy little guys," Cooper added.
They estimate it took about one hour to make each toboggan. The gifts along with a goody bag with other toys and a book will be given to young kids from the Family & Children's Center Healthy Families program.
"I think it's really special anytime that you can give a child something that is handmade the creativity that goes into it and it kinda shows them the potential of something that they might be able to do and aspire to do one day themselves. A lot of these families that are receiving these toys are vulnerable they don't have a lot of toys they don't get a lot of toys at Christmas so the fact that these are so thoughtfully created really means a lot to us and the families that will be receiving them," said Family & Children's Center Director of Development Jamie Korn.
The Center is run on donations if you'd like to give visit their website.