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‘Tis the season for giving

Eagle’s Trace neighbors delight in sharing handiwork

Created date

November 20th, 2012

Santa s workshop might be a busy place this time of year, but it s no match for the flurry of activity going on inside the woodshop at Eagle s Trace. Members of the woodworkers club have been busier than elves for the past few months, making wooden doll beds, puzzles, football plaques, and cars for distribution by Child Protective Services (CPS). We ve partnered with CPS for the past six years to provide toys to children in protective custody, says Ray Hope, chairman of the woodworkers club. It s our way of giving back during the holidays. When Ray moved to Eagle s Trace in 2005, he left behind a garage workshop in his former home. Now he has a bigger and better workshop at Eagle s Trace. Most of the large tools were provided by Eagle s Trace, says Ray. As new residents move in, some of them bring tools with them. We re very well equipped. Currently, the woodworkers club has 21 members. Each has a pet project. Everyone makes the project they like best, says Ray. This year, we have several boxes of toys to donate. It s neat to hear stories about how these toys become the kids prized possessions.

One-of-a-kind gifts

While most people shop at retail stores for their holiday gifts, there s no denying the unmistakable charm of a handmade present. Each toy we make is unique, says Ray. No two are exactly alike. That personal touch is hard to come by in a season when online shopping and deep discounts make it easier than ever to purchase a gift with a single keystroke. The National Retail Federation released its 2012 holiday forecast in early October, predicting a 4.1% increase in holiday sales over last year. Yet even with the ease of buying gifts, the handmade variety is still prized by many.

Caps for infants

Patricia Rapp moved to Eagle s Trace from The Woodlands seven years ago. After raising two sons and working at Camco Tool Company, Patricia retired at age 65, leaving her with more time to do the things she enjoys. I started knitting with a friend, and she taught me how to make caps, says Patricia. Now I make 25 or 30 caps at a time and take them to the neonatal department at Texas Children s Hospital for the babies to wear home. Patricia also drops off several caps at the Ronald McDonald House in Houston. It s one way I can give, she says. I didn t have time to do anything like this when I was working. It s a joy to be able to do it now. For the holidays, Patricia knit several caps using red, white, and green yarn so babies would be decked out in the colors of the season.

Surrounded by opportunities

I ve never been one to sit at home, says Patricia. I play cards in the clubhouse nearly every evening. That s one of the benefits of living here. You don t have to drive anywhere to spend time with friends. I do most of my knitting when I come back to my apartment after cards. It s relaxing for me, and it does a little good at the same time.