(ABC4 UTAH NEWS – WEST JORDAN, UT) Welcome to Tiny Tim’s Toy Factory!
According to Alton C. Thacker, President of the Tiny Tim’s Foundation for Kids; “As of June 11th, 2018 we have made 1 Million Toys and given them away.”
Thanks to Alton Thacker’s Tiny Tim’s Foundation for Kids, thousands of cars are donated every month to children’s hospitals, homeless shelters, sent to Africa and delivered by soldiers all around the world.
The foundation’s namesake was a special needs boy, Tiny Tim Whetton from Colonial Juarez, Mexico.
As Alton shows me a picture of Tim in a wheelchair, he gets emotional and tells me; “He taught me, be kind and be gentle.”
Here’s a fun bit of Utah trivia. Did you know that Tiny Tim’s Foundation for Kids is the largest car manufacturer in Utah? Granted they are the size of your hand and made of wood.
Alton showed me some of their first models; “That was our first jeep. It took 11 cuts on the band saw. When we learned that the need is 500 million, we can’t make 11 cuts. We need to do 1 cut. Now, this is the Dodge Caravan. One cut.”
Volunteers are the life blood for Alton’s foundation. While we were there, a group from Morgan Stanley came in and donated their time. Alton explained; “They’re tracing patterns on the wood, so we can cut them out.”
After the wood blocks have the patterns on them, they go to Thacker’s full-time volunteer crew of woodworkers. He walked us through the shop and told me; “They go to the band saw, he cuts them out. Then it goes to the drill presses where they drill a window.”
The assembly line continues by putting wheels on cars that have been painted and stained and ready to deliver. I even got a chance to put on wheels. A quick hint – make sure that all four wheels spin.
Henry Ford would be proud.
What revs Thacker’s engine? “To watch them. Just to see the smile. That’s a payday for a toymaker.”
These stories deserve to be told. These are Utah Caring Stories. I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.