Every morning around 5:30 you can find Mel Hartman in the same place-in his workshop making toys. Mel is the founder of T.L.C. (Tender Loving Care) Toys. For the past decade he's been making toys to give to needy families during the holidays.
We're not talking about a handful of wooden airplanes, trucks, trains, and dolls. Since 1990, Mel and his circle of "elves" have created close to 57,000 toys valued at more than a million dollars.
"Christmas morning, I'm nine feet tall because I know of the joys the kids are experiencing," says Mel.
T.L.C. Toys is supported by nearly 100 local organizations. Sewing circles make doll clothes. Lumber companies provide wood. T.L.C. even works with people sentenced to community service, and inmates in St. Cloud, Faribault and Shakopee to finish some of the toys.
Mel says the sky's the limit for T.L.C. Toys.
"Give more than you think you can, and you'll have more to give than you can."
Mel has designated $1100 to T.L.C. Toys, Inc.