(DOUG JESSOP’S UTAH CARING STORIES – ABC4 NEWS – SALT LAKE CITY, UT) A little block of wood. Four wheels that turn. A window big enough to put your finger through and imagine that you own it. In this Utah Caring Stories, I got to do a follow up of one of my favorite stories.
Alton C. Thacker is the President of the Tiny Tim Foundation. The Tiny Tim Toy Factory just happens to be the largest car manufacturer in the state of Utah.
He held one of his toy cars in the palm of his hand and said; “That was our first Jeep. It took 11 cuts on the band saw. We need to do 1 cut. So, this is the latestJeep. The Jeep Wagoneer.”
The Tiny Tim Foundation has made and given away over a million cars around the world. I happen to know that Bruce and Karen Powell were going to do a service project in Guatemala. I asked them to bring a box of cars and come back and report. They didn’t disappoint.
As Bruce and Karen showed me a number of pictures of smiling children, Bruce told me; “We were going to end up in a village above Antiqua, Guatemala. Working on a school. We ended up passing out a car to each one of the kids.”
Karen smiled widely as she showed me a particular picture and said; “Probably one of my favorite pictures is a little pre-school girl. She’s sitting and it’s almost like she has a dolly because she is cradling her car. That was really sweet.”
Bruce chuckled and showed me a photograph of a number of kids sitting together; “It started with about 4 of them and they would spread their legs until they touched each other. Creating a kind of arena for these cars. Vroom, Vroom and then they would actually crash into each other. A little demolition derby. I guess its universal right. This is, for some kids, the only thing that they’ll ever own until they become adults.”
DOUG – Put’s it in perspective, doesn’t it? BRUCE – It really does. When you have nothing, a little car like this can mean I have ownership in something and I have something I can play with. It gives you reality. It shows you how wonderful people are. How loving they can be when they have nothing and for me it gives me great hope and trust in humanity.”