For the past year, Hun School students Logan and Sam Leppo (Class of 2017) have been hard at work in their family workshop constructing handmade wooden toys to donate to local homeless children.
The twin brothers are fourth generation woodworkers, and their passion for crafting is a tradition they wanted to share with others. Over the past year, they designed, cut, sanded, and assembled toy dogs and cars–50 in total. On July 8, 2015, they donated the toys to children at HomeFront during a “Christmas in July” celebration.
Logan and Sam now have a bigger goal–they want to partner with woodworking students across the country to create handmade toys for every homeless child in America.
“Woodworking has been in our family for many years. Beyond continuing this tradition and passion for ourselves, we want to share our creations with children who do not have as much as we do. Handmade toys carry a weight that store-bought toys do not. They take time and effort to make, and in that regard they are rather special,” Sam explained. “We started locally and on a small scale to see if this [national goal] was realistic. Now we are expanding outward.”
The boys estimate that it takes five hours to make each toy. Their plan is to team up with local area schools this fall and work with other students to build toys. By distributing their original design and encouraging their peers, they hope to make and donate 5,000 toys over the next twelve months.
“We made a simple design that is easily understood and replicated,” said Logan. “We have had a good response from the schools we have contacted so far, and we are hopeful that this project is going to grow. When we return to The Hun School in September, we are going to start a new club–Toys for Smiles–and work with the community service club to raise money for materials.”
About The Hun School of Princeton:
The Hun School of Princeton is a co-educational, private day and boarding school in Princeton, N.J. For more on the school, visit www.hunschol.org.