Wooden Toys For Oil Spill Victims
Retiree Makes Wooden Toys For Oil Spill Victims
Sam McCombs Brings 1,000 Gifts To Louisiana
NEW ORLEANS — WDSU .com
Southeast Louisiana has its own Christmas angel, and he arrived early this year, stopping in several cities including New Orleans to bring toys to children in need.
Samm McCombs, a 78-year-old retiree from Missouri, has traveled the country with his wife for the past 20 years, helping families through challenging times by bringing them handmade toys.
“This is, with me, a hobby. And I enjoy it. It keeps me from growing old,” McCombs said.
This year, he brought 1,000 toys for children whose families have been affected by the BP oil spill. The wooden toys include airplanes, rocking horses and baby doll cribs.
“We did Boothville and Venice Friday night. Saturday afternoon we did Port Sulphur (and) had a very big turnout there,” he said.
“This is not his first disaster,” Samm’s wife, June, said. “He’s gone to areas where there are tornadoes, flood and where there is a need. He has enough heart and love and time to make these toys for children.”
McCombs, a former factory worker, has an assembly line at his home.
“I make 25, 30 at one time. I make this part, then I make another part, until I get all the parts and then I put it together,” he said.
About 100 families from Catholic Charities Hispanic Apostolate, the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation and the Latin American Civic Association attended the Christmas party and luncheon Sunday.
“It’s impressive. Think about it. He made it with his own hands,” said Darlene Kattan with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Samm and his wife do this on their own nickel. They have no sponsors.”
As they walked out the door, families received even more gifts — bags filled with food.
“I think this is a great idea, something great that they are doing for the kids,” said Yesenia Espinoza.
As the children continued to line up for toys, McCombs smiled. He has battled cancer twice and survived, and he knows the gift of giving keeps him living.
“So I stay busy. It is good for me and good for the children,” McCombs said.
If you would like to make a donation to help McComb’s cause, contact the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at 504-885-4262.