Capstone Creates "Toys for God's Kids"

A small toy car is making a big difference for students in Africa, and a large life-lesson for those in the Dayton-area.

Alex Camp ‘19 and Katie Zopff ‘19 focused their Senior Capstone Project on the mission behind Toys for God’s Kids — an organization that sends handmade toy cars to children all over the world.

“I really wanted to do this project because I had done tutoring for my junior service and saw how important a strong environment and resources are for a child's education and development,” said Zopff.  “When I heard about Toys for God's Kids, I was eager to work with them because of their devotion to making people smile all over the world. Their work supports human dignity in a way that many people can forget about.”

“We connected with Our Lady of the Nazareth, a Marianist school in Kenya, and heard more about their story and how the children there can benefit from something so small,” added Camp. “We learned that not having toys can lead to high-stress levels in teachers because they have to break up fights over toys which means that their focus isn't on the children's education. We also learned that since many of the kids don't have things of their own to explore and learn about, some kids venture away from the school to the road to look at the vehicles there which leads to a lot of accidents and injuries. Owning a toy also gives the kids a sense of pride and gives them something to take care of for themselves and that they can call their own.”

As part of their project, the seniors went to St. Albert the Great elementary school to teach the children there about the importance of the toys and helped the students make toys.

“We had stations for the kids,” explained Camp. “One was building the cars, one was inspecting the cars, one was writing letters to the kids in Africa, and one was putting a CJ stamp on the cars or on the letters.”  

“To see our work come together and impact the students at St. Albert by helping them relate to children across the world made me feel very blessed to have the opportunity to be doing a capstone project,” Zopff shared.

Posted May 9, 2019