R.J. Scheffel Memorial Toy Project
16991 Old U.S. 27 Suite A - Lansing, Michigan ... Mailing Address: PO Box 23181, Lansing, MI 48909-3181
   Toy Makers for Disadvantaged and "In Crisis" Children

Our Motto: "People don't stop doing things because they get older;
They get older because they stop doing things."
 About Us
 Contact Us
Memory boxes for Bhutanese Project at St. Paul's Church, Lansing

A Child adds some finishing touches to a Memory Box at Ele's Place in Ann Arbor

Memory Boxes Decorated by Children at Gilda's Club

Clayton Vandecar celebrates his 99th birthday with the help of other Scheffel elves.

Chronically Ill Child Enjoys Wood Toys
"I wanted to write a little letter to say thank you for all that you do," a mother recently wrote to us. "My 6 year old son is chronically ill and has been at xx hospital 20 times in his short little life so far. He really enjoys painting his wood treasures every time that he is here. It is a great distraction to him. When he is admitted he is usually in isolation so he can’t go to the playroom to play. He proudly displays his creations at home in his own playroom. Thank you again. P.S. The LPD police car is so cute."

The Elves at Scheffel Toys are happy to hear that he is enjoying our toys.


"Wow, your memory boxes are popular! We've used every one of them which you made for us last year. Thanks so much!"

A note from Sarah at Ele's Place

 Visit us on Facebook

Presentation to MSU Retirees
From the 2024 MSU Retirees Newsletter

Scheffel Volunteers Work Hard
to Wrap Up 2023

Darryl & Fred sanding the last of the step stools
Painting and assembly of cars
Painting 100s of step stools
Chris cutting wood as Paul sands stools between coats
Painting the last of the step stools
Step Stools drying
Step stools drying
Fish Pull Toys
Not all toys need paint - Fish pull toys ready
Ready to go
The stack of step stools and some penny hockey games
ready to go to Salvation Army.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas!!!


Toy Project Open House
September 21, 2023
We had a very successful Open House this year
with about 45 people in attendance.

WILX TV10 came out, thanks to a request
by Major Nate Johnson of the Salvation Army
and shot some video of the event.
Below is a link to the video they played on TV.
Video Icon

Toys Display
We had a few of the toys on display on the assembly tables.
Bird Houses
25 bird houses were made to be given away to
anyone that wanted one.
Door Prize Toys
There were also a number of 'Door Prizes' to be
given away at the end of the program.
Those attending were treated to a light lunch
of wraps, chips & cookies with water or pop.
Intro of Lisa
After lunch President Gene Klco introduced our guest speaker,
Lisa Delgado from CACS -
Capital Area Community Services Head Start.

Guest speaker
Lisa Delgado talked about
CACS Head Start.
Lisa Delgado
Lisa told us how they use the toys at Head Start
to help the young children learn.
We had a good crowd of about 45 in attendance.
Captain Nate Johnson
After the crowd left, Major Nate Johnson of
Lansing's Salvation Army was interviewed by TV10.
Gene Klco
Toys President Gene Klco was also interviewed
for the later broadcast at 6 pm. See the whole
broadcast by selecting the red button link above.
Overall, it was a successful Open House!

Toy Shop Volunteers at Lugnuts Game
August 9, 2023
Thanks to Jim Dell and RSVP we got tickets to a Suite
at the Lansing Lugnuts vs. Fort Wayne Tincaps game.
Our suite was right behind the home plate.
Game View
Free food in the suite
In suite
With outdoor seating too
Outdoor seating
Watching the game
Game on
We had a visit from Big Lug.
Big Lug
Those who wanted, got a photo with Big Lug.
Chris & Margaret Costigan were first
Big Lug photo
Rich Martin, Chris, BL and Chris Baker
Theresa & BL
Theresa Ebbinghaus & Big Lug
Gene & Gina & BL
Lastly Gene & Gina Klco got there photo with the big guy.

The Lugnuts lost to the Fort Wayne Tincaps 9-4,
but it didn't take away the enjoyment of the afternoon!
Thanks again to Jim Dell & RSVP!!!

2022 Scheffel Toys Open House
September 22, 2022

After a brief summary of the R.J. Scheffel Memrial Toy Project by President Gene Klco, we had a light lunch of wraps, chips, vegies and drinks.

The lunch line
Rotary Check Presented
Gene Klco presented a check for $500 to Treasurer Peggy McNichols from the Williamston Sunrise Rotary that he belongs to.
Everyone was then seated - ready for our guest speakers.
Tony intro
Toy shop volunteer, Tony Bauer, introduced the speakers.
He was instrumental in setting up the contact with them.
From MSU Lingo Lab:
Courtney Venker, Jenny Johnson and Zack Hesse.
Courtney & Jenny talked about how they found that simple toys did a better job of helping young children to learn then electronic toys did. Simple toys encouraged their imagination and increased parental interaction.

Select this button to see a video of the presentation.
And this button for the Q&A portion.
Video Button
Below is a copy of the handouts they passed out.

Other Resources:

Tips for Choosing Toys for Toddlers - ZERO TO THREE

Identify The Signs of Communication Disorders

Wrapping Up 2021

The Scheffel eves are busy wrapping the last toys produced for 2021.

Child Hosp
Chris Costigan (left) delivered boxes of toys to Detroit Children's Hospital
on November 29, 2021.

Back at the Toy Shop, the final toys were being finshed.
A horse stampede was seen as the toys got wild!

Larry assembled wheels on the painted fish.

Jim & Theresa were busy finishing paint detail.

Tony was busy assembing ironing boards.

While Gene was making the last of the Fish Pull Toys.

Deb sanded the irons while Pat added the final coat.

While in the sanding room, Darryl & Fred sanded more toys.


2021 Scheffel Toys Open House

September 23, 2021

Having cancelled the 2020 Open House due to the pandemic, it was good to be able to have one in 2021, even if masks were required to attend. 42 people came out to celebrate the Scheffel Toy Project's efforts.

Get food
Some of the toys made were on display and volunteers talked to guests about them.

open house
Majors Jim & Pat from the Salvation Army pick some of the food provided - a light lunch.

For the first half hour, we enjoyed the light lunch of wraps, cookies and chips provided by Lansing Catering.

At 12:00, the program started with the Delta Township Kiwanis and the South Lansing Kiwanis Clubs presenting Scheffel Toys a $500 check each.

After President Gene Klco talked about the last year and a half, the main presentation was began. Gene had video taped many of the volunteers asking them why they come and help out and what is it that keeps them coming back. 
TV presentation
The guests watched the presentation and heard the many reasons
why the volunteers enjoy helping out at Scheffel Toys.

Select this icon to see the video of the volunteers.

He also showed a video of Chris Costigan talking about
how we process wood that is donated to us.

Select this icon to see the video on wood processing.

Thanks to all who came and those who donated to make this aa big success!

January 2021: As the volunteers come back to the Toy Shop in January, they will see new shelves and tables that volunteer Chris Costigan made. Thanks Chris!

December 2020: End of the year and the cupboards are bare.
The toys are gone!
Amazingly, over 10,500 toys were made!
Even with a 3 month Covid-19 shutdown, Santa's elves (the Scheffel volunteers)
took on the task, working on them at home, doing whatever they could to
get the job done, while staying safe.

Have a safe and Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
and a Joyful New Year!
We will be back to work on January 18, 2021.
December 2020: The last of the toys are ready to be picked up.

November 2020: Jeannie Walser delivers toy blankets to Salvation Army for doll beds. Received by Major Jim Irvine.

June 2020: After a 3 month hiatus due to the Covid 19 pandemic, we are back working - with Masks and Social Distancing!

Look at all the painted fish done at home
when we couldn't work at the Toy Shop.

Some more fish painted and ready for wheels.

After a year's work was done, some of the toy shop volunteers and their spouses gathered at Harrison Roadhouse, in East Lansing for dinner on December 11th. While we try to meet for dinner once a month at varying restaurants, this one culminated the end of another successful year.

8,864 toys were produced in 2019 and 83,920 for the past 9 years for an average of 9,324 annually!

2019 Scheffel Toy Open House

August 15, 2019

People started gathering at 11:30.

Toy shop volunteer Roy Ketcheson shows off some of the toys we make.

A light lunch was provided - ham or turkey wraps, chips & cookies as well as water/soft drinks.

Kay Goluska, President Elect of the Williamston Sunrise Rotary Club, presented Larry Koster and the Scheffel Toys with a $1000 check. Gene Klco (Rt) is the Secretary at Williamston Sunrise Rotary.

Roy is explaining how a doll bed is constructed.

The Scheffel family that were present were introduced. (L-R) Grandson Jack Schoettle, Marybeth Scheffel, Marilyn Scheffel & Steve Scheffel.

The main presentation was a series of videos showing how we make some of the toys by Gene Klco.

Gene is explaining about the bleach bottle fenders on the dune buggy.

There were about 45 people in attendance at the Open House.

Ed Heaviland presented the video for making bulldozers. Ed is a former HS shop teacher.

Gene showed other toys making videos - including the fish pull toy, airplanes and penny hockey game.

After the presentations a drawing was made for those who entered the 50/50 raffle. Winning the top prize was Jack Schoettle - a detailed steam boat that someone gave to us. The 50/50 winner donated the money back to Scheffel Toys.

After it was all over the Scheffle family gathered for a photo. (L-R) Marybeth Scheffel, Jack Schoettle, Steve & Mariland Scheffel and Susan Roosenraad.

Scheffel Toys was recently featured in the Lansing State Journal & on WLNS TV6

June 20, 2019

Click here for link to the article in the Lansing State Journal
Click here for a PDF copy of the article

June 28, 2019

Click here for link to the video of the WLNS TV6 show
Be A Tourist in Your Town


This is the first year that we tried to be part of 'Be A Tourist in Your Town'. We were happy with the turnout, esp. since we were off the beaten path. We had about 70-75 people attend!

The setup:
We had wooden cars to assemble for kids to finish & keep. All 60 were taken.

We also had some Penny Hockey games to try (a goal got the winner a game to take home).

We had displays of the toys we build on tables to see. Tours of the facility were also given.

The children were enjoying building themselves a car.

And trying their luck at Penny Hockey.

Even the girls had a good time.

Overall a great success! We were pleased and the kids went away happy!

The Scheffel Toy Project’s 2018 Year End Report

Total Production 2018 = 9,313
Production for 8 Years = 75,266 (2011-2018)
Production for 18 Years = 143,000 (2001- 2018)

• The Salvation Army, Lansing and Holt, received 41% of the 8-year figure. (31,128)
• Sparrow Hospital & Clinics received 12,118 toys (16%)
• Lansing’s Two Head Start programs received 5,190 games and toys. (6.9 %)
• Ele’s Place received 4,048 memory boxes (5.4%). Lansing is their primary location, they also serve Ann Arbor, Flint and Grand Rapids.
• St. Vincent de Paul received for the various parishes 3,711 games and toys (almost 5%)
• Other, discontinued agencies received 6,109 items from 2011 through 2017 (8%). Agencies and other organizations come and go.

The R. J. Scheffel elves worked more than 6,100 hours in 11 months, from January through November 28, 2018.

There are no administrative expenses. All board members and volunteers donate their expertise and time to the Toy Project.

Larry Koster
General Manager


Holiday Greetings!

It is time to celebrate another successful year of toy making at the R.J. Scheffel
Memorial Toy Project. The Elves made more 9,000 games and toys during 2018.
To put this in a different way, the Scheffel Toy Project produced more than
143,000 games and toys during the past 18 years, from 2001 through 2018.

All Toy Project volunteers, Board Members, and friends are invited to meet at the
Harrison Road House on the corner of Harrison Road and Michigan Avenue in
East Lansing on Wednesday, December 12, 2018. Dinner will be served in a
private room with seating for 20-30 who attend. The room, I believe, is called
the glass house or the green house.

The Road House in the 1960's was known as Duke's Shell Station. Check out their
website: http://www.harrisonroadhouse.com for their menu and the history of
their building.

It would be nice to see some of the 'retired' Scheffel volunteers: the Honharts,
Linda, Julia, Ray, Shirley and Big John in attendance.

Arrival time as usual is 5:30 pm. Any questions?

Larry Koster
General Operations Manager


Greetings Santa's Elves!

The balance of toys for 2018 were assembled this morning (11/28/2018) and some
were placed into shipping containers; completed orders were for 211 farm tractors,
96 semi-trucks, and 123 sewing machines. More than 100 of the 396 tool boxes are
ready on the floor and waiting to be picked up.

We appreciate everyone's assistance for the past two days. We were able to take
an early break this morning as the 2018 assembly process was finished. Stay home
on Friday, 11/30.

The Salvation Army will pickup their toys on Friday, 11/30. Mary Free Bed Hospital
of Grand Rapids will come on Monday, 12/3.

Toy Making will resume on Monday, January 7th. Any questions?

Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas

Larry Koster, General Operations Manager

We are “Toy Makers” for children in need
in Clinton, Eaton and Ingham Counties.
R. J. Scheffel Toy Project Workshop
16991 Old US-27, Suite A
Corner of Sheridan Rd, Lansing, MI
The R.J. Scheffel Memorial Toy Project is a
501(c)3 organization, has been in operation
for more than 30 years, and has produced
more than 50,000 toys for area children
in the last five years alone!

Hours of Operation:
The R.J. Scheffel Memorial Toy Project is open for volunteers to work on
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 AM to 11:30 AM.

Santa’s Workers Make Toys for Disadvantaged Kids

SANTA’S ELVES, from left to right: Tom Hazlett, Fred Honhart, Larry Koster, Patrick Scheetz, Darryl Warncke, and Tony Bauer. All are retirees of Michigan State University, except for Larry, who is an MSU alum. Featured in the MSU Retires Association Newsletter - Jan. 2016.

The R. J. Scheffel Memorial Toy Project provides, without charge, wooden toys, memory boxes, and games, hand crafted by volunteers, for children who are disadvantaged, homeless, needy or in crisis. These and other volunteers are “Toy Makers” for disadvantaged children of Clinton, Eaton and Ingham Counties. They work towards a “wish list” provided by the Lansing Salvation Army, CAPS (Child Abuse Prevention Services), Ele’s Place, and the Kiwanis Club. Small, unpainted cars are made for children at the Ann Arbor Children’s Hospital and the Child Life Dept. and Mary Free Bed Re-Hab Hospital at Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital.

Toy Project Operational
In Facility at 16991 Old U.S. 27 Suite A - Lansing, Michigan

The R. J. Scheffel Memorial Toy Project facility is operational and is producing at full capacity. Everything is pretty much in place so woodcutting equipment is humming, painting supplies are ready for use, and work benches are located for building new toys requested for needy children. Guests are welcome for a tour and to see our volunteers (Elves) in action!
The R. J. Scheffel Memorial Toy Project provides wooden toys and games, hand crafted by volunteers, for children who are disadvantaged or in crisis.
Click on "Agencies" to see list of organizations with "wish lists" which have been filled.
 Click here to view a map for getting to our Toy Project location.

Major contributions were received in recent years from Delta Kiwanis Club, South Lansing Kiwanis, Haslett Kiwanis, and Lansing Kiwanis.
Please Make a Contribution or Donation
Our Toy Project relies on contributions and donations which are tax deductable as charitable contributions.

Contributions may be sent by mail to:
R. J. Scheffel Memorial Toy Project
P. O. Box 23181
Lansing, MI 48909-3181
To Make Donations:
Email: donations@scheffel-toys.org
When you contribute to the Capital Area United Way campaign (Lansing area), please consider designating your donation to the R. J. Scheffel Memorial Toy Project. Thank you.
The R. J. Scheffel Memorial Toy Project is a 501(c)3 organization which has operated for more than 30 years.
R. J. Scheffel Toy Project Workshop
16991 Old US-27, Suite A
Corner of Sheridan Rd, Lansing, MI
(Near to the 'Mexico 2 Go" sign)

2024 R.J. Scheffel Memorial Toy Project