Almost thirty years ago, Dutch Van Maaren, a local neighbor, moved his workshop equipment into a sparsely equipped room at Someren Glen. As the saying goes, the rest is history. Dutch built cabinets and many functional pieces for Someren Glen as well as the Suites at Someren Glen. Along the way Dutch became an integral part of the Englewood-based organization Toys for God’s Kids.

Over the years, the woodshop at Someren Glen has brought so much joy to residents, volunteers, and children as far away as Tanzania. Thanks to a thriving partnership with Toys for God’s Kids, residents and volunteers know the joy of helping others by providing a small wooden car to brighten the days of children who otherwise may not have toys.

However, some of the original donated equipment needed replacement, and “firing back up” the woodshop after being closed during COVID found some safety equipment badly needed replacing. That is where you, our kind and faithful donors, helped keep “the wheels turning!”

Generous donors helped provide a vital filter for the woodshop that helps filter particles, senses the level of pollution in the shop, and adjusts the fan accordingly, ensuring everyone working in the shop is safe.

Including people like Bob Britt. Bob and his wife Carol made Someren Glen their home nearly two years ago. The woodshop soon became vital to Bob’s life at Someren Glen; he has long enjoyed woodworking. He soon became engrained in the woodshop culture and helped the volunteers and other residents reignite the magic that once poured out of the woodshop.

Now, 6-12 men help each month assemble the cars he and others cut out for the Toys for Gods Kids program. In all, there are more than 23 models of pocket cars that have been distributed to children in over 200 countries. The Someren Glen team has help from local companies with supplies. Dutch continues to be the driving force behind this project.

Bob says seeing the photos from far away of kids enjoying the cars is so meaningful, as is the opportunity for his neighbors to pitch in and help: “The residents get so much out of it. It brings us purpose; this is our chance to contribute,” shares Bob.

Kind gifts from supporters like you also helped cover the cost of replacing a bandsaw, bandsaw blade, and a drum sander.

These improvements led to the Someren Glen men’s team creating more than 1,600 toys last year, which were then shared with mission trips not only here in the United States but also overseas, like this photo from a distribution in Tanzania.

The thoughtfulness of CLC supporters helped keep the Toys for God Kids program going strong, and ensured Bob could keep helping his neighbors. “I’ve had lots of requests to make or fix things, everything from making doorstops to duplicating a replacement for a broken wooden leg on a family heirloom chest made in the 1880s. I am so glad I can keep working with wood and helping others.”


About the Author

Pam Sullivan

Pam Sullivan, Vice-President of Strategy and Communications, joined the team in 2004 in the Donor Relations department. Since then, she has held various positions include Donor Relations Director, Executive Director of Marketing and Vice-President of Engagement. Pam is responsible for internal and external communications, branding and brand messaging, crisis communication and guiding and supporting strategic initiatives. She is a “go to” in figuring out new projects and building a work flow.


About the Author

Bob Britt

Bob Britt is a woodworker and resident at Someren Glen, where he and his wife, Carol, moved in 2022. Bob creates toy cars for the non-profit organization Toys for God's Kids, and creates new pieces and repairs existing pieces for his loved ones and neighbors.

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