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Teens build toys for homeless kids

Christmas came early for a group of kids housed at the Aztec Motel on Platte Avenue. On Dec. 15, The Career Building Academy, a school for nontraditional learners from school districts 2, 3, 14, 20 and 49, sent students to the Aztec with new and handmade toys to hand out to the kids.The Aztec Motel is one site where homeless families and individuals can go for shelter and also to participate in the Homeward Pikes Peak program, a United Way affiliate aimed at eliminating homelessness by helping individuals attain support and skills needed to improve their living situations.The Career Building Academy is a construction trade school that offers classes and credits for nontraditional high school students, said Teri Poulson, administrator.Currently, Falcon School District 49 has 13 students enrolled at The Career Building Academy ñ seven were among the students presenting gifts at the Aztec: Dalton Brewer, David Collas, Matt Coffelt, Jordan Reed, Jordan Julius, Colby Meek and Cody Doerfler.The students used their construction skills to create and build wooden toys for the kids. They used materials on hand and made airplanes, a fire truck, a space shuttle and other play toys ñ plus wooden angel ornaments (each were hand painted) for the babies at Aztec.ìWe, too, are struggling (in this economy) and the message we’re trying to send is that even though we’re struggling, there’s always something we can do,î Poulson said. ìWe’re hoping to do things with these kids all year round.îLast year on Christmas Eve at the Aztec, all of the kidsí stockings stuffed with donations were stolen, Poulson said. After a mad scramble Christmas morning, there were replacement stockings, but Poulson said she didn’t want something like that to happen again.So, Santa arrived early this year.ìI think that it (the event) was a great success,î said Kathleen Voss, D 49 internship coordinator. ìI was so inspired by the boys, and they were finally recognized for doing a great thing. I think it was good for them to see that no matter how far you go in life, it’s the little things that really matter.îDavid Collas said, ìGod gave us the ability to make these toys for the kids, and I really wanted them to be able to look back and know that we made these for them. If I can make someone else’s day, it’s a good day.î

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