Edmundston toy maker gives handcrafted toys to sick children

A retired Edmundston, N.B., pharmacist is helping sick people feel better in a different way these days.

Guy Plourde began to make wooden toys for sick and hospitalized children around the world after he retired in 2007.

"At first it was a hobby, then it became a passion," he told Radio-Canada's Tout un samedi.  

Now, his family members help him distribute his toys to hospitals in places such as Edmundston, Montreal, Ottawa, Orlando and Tokyo.

Children can choose which toy they like.

"When I bring toys, they give me notes. I read them and it makes me feel good inside. It pleases me," said Plourde.

He said he doesn't want to sell his toys because if he sold them his passion would become a job, instead of a pleasure.

"It has to be given. It was my goal to give them to children who love toys," said Plourde.

Some of the things he makes are toy cars, planes, animals, puzzles, piggy banks and jewelry boxes. All of his creations made of wood that is then painted in bright colours.

In a time when electronic gadgets are popular, Plourde believes traditional wooden toys have their place.

"It becomes collectibles for children, later," he said.