A Tribute to Reg Worthy

Reg Worthy became a Christian at 18 and was a keenly committed children’s and youth worker, both through the church where he worshipped and through the Melbourne City Mission.

He focused his attention on youth clubs, holiday camps and the YMCA. He loved making puppets and producing children’s puppet shows. A huge train set enticed youths into a positive activity. Reg loved children and loved to see children enjoying themselves.

Reg married and had five children: one son and four daughters. At the age of 90, he decided he needed to do more with his life. He began designing and making wooden toy kits to give free of charge to “sick and sad” children. Using all his love of inventing and lifelong skills with woodworking tools, Reg enjoyed the process enormously.

He called his product “I Made It” kits. Each kit contains painted wooden pieces that children can use to assemble a toy, such as a house, a plane, or a train. It is an expectation that children will be supported by an adult to make the toy, and organizations that use them all provide this adult support.

Mentors in the KIDS HOPE program are particularly suited to these activities. After completing a toy cot, one KIDS HOPE child commented:  “When I took my cot home yesterday I put it near my bed. When I went to bed last night I took the doll out of the cot, hugged it and asked God to give  me a better life.”

Another very angry eight-year-old boy whose both parents had died during the previous 12 months had been helped by his mentor to construct a seesaw. The mentor helped this child by telling him that life was something like that seesaw. There were the highs and lows as the seesaw went up and down.

Reg’s home-based industry grew to include two woodwork groups, plus many volunteers who packed and distributed thousands of kits throughout  Australia. Sadly, Reg Worthy passed away in October 2013. The “I Made It”  toy kits continue as a legacy to his vision.

Manningham Woodwork Club and Leongatha Men’s Shed continue to cut and paint the pieces for the kits. One of Reg’s daughters, Ann, organized the packing and sending out of the kits for many years. Another of his daughters, Jennie, took on the packing and sending of the kits for a time.

From Voices of Hope September 2014 – World Vision Australia

Now, from 2023, Charles and the Manningham Woodworking Club both make the kits and distribute them.

The kits can be collected from Templestowe, Melbourne or they can be posted to you. All we politely request is that you cover the cost of postage.

There is no charge for the toy kits that are made by volunteers who have caught the vision that Reg began.