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The Toymaker’s Prize

As professionals in the toy and game industry our jobs are richly rewarded when we help children grow, learn, feel wonder and joy, when we make them smile and laugh.

This is a short story about three people I met recently: a boy named Sasha, an Orthodox priest named Luke, and Carl a Mennonite pastor. It’s a story about wonder, joy and a whole lot of smiles.

Let me first tell you about Bishop Luke, the Patriarch of St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral in Philadelphia. He called me out of the blue one day 2 weeks ago, directed to me by a mutual friend. He had learned that I was connected to the toy industry, and, with Spring approaching, he harbored hopes of building an outdoor play area for some children under his care. As we talked, I learned the children were Ukrainian refugees. I was taken aback to learn there are 12,000 Ukrainian refugees currently living in Philadelphia and that St Nicholas is supporting families with over 100 children. Their commitment is to provide basic needs for the 2-year period that the refugees are allowed sanctuary in the US.

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