80-year-old NC veteran makes hundreds of handmade toys for kids in need at Christmas

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(CBS News) – Santa Claus isn’t the only jolly man giving away gifts this Christmas. Jim Annis, an 80-year-old veteran from Sanford, North Carolina, has created toys for children in need for the past 50 years. 

“When the Salvation Army gives out the food and clothes to people in this area, I give out my toys,” Annis said in an interview with WTVD. “It feels like you’re sort of forgotten about at Christmas time.”

At his workshop, Annis carves toys out of wood. He makes cars, dolls, piggy banks, tractors and firetrucks. Aside from the wooden scraps he gets from nearby homeowners, he pays for everything out of pocket. 

“Between the wheels and paint, I spent about $1000,” Annis said. 

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Each holiday season, Annis makes hundreds of handmade toys for children in need. It’s a tradition of giving he’s been keeping up for 50 years. WTVD

Annis will give around 300 handmade toys to the Salvation Army of Sanford and all of them will go to children in need this Christmas.

Annis didn’t grow up with a lot, so the cause is close to his heart. “My dad, he worked, but didn’t make a lot of money,” he said. “It’s hard to have a big Christmas with five kids.”

It’s a lot of work, but for Annis, it’s all worth it. He hopes to continue the tradition of giving for years to come. 

“I love when people ask me how much do I get paid for making these toys. I tell them my pay is when I see the smile on kids’ faces,” he said. “I hope to be able to do this until my toes curl up.”

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“I hope to be able to do this until my toes curl up,” Annis said with a laugh. WTVD

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