The Mahan Woodshop, located behind the garage in the Mahan Center, which in turn is located behind the Blevins House, has been making wooden toys for pre-school children since the mid-1990s. As one of Maxwell Street’s missions, the toys are given to charitable organizations for distribution to children whose families have limited resources. Frequently, the toys are given to the Elkhorn Baptist Association on Red Mile Road, which distributes them to parties in the Irish Town/Davis Bottoms area and locations in nearby counties. Our workshop regularly produces over 200 individual toys each year to share God’s joy with those in need.
The shop was named for Charles Mahan whose family gave the funds to build the shop, and who was a creative and inspiring leader who helped the “team” of workers learn their jobs. Charles and many of the original team have been lost to the church and the shop by their deaths in recent years. However, the work continues with church members overseeing the scheduling, supplying, and other needs of the shop, including the delivery of the finished products. Saturday morning work hours are a time of fellowship, sawing, gluing, sanding and painting are interspersed with reminiscing, joking, singing (?), and even coffee and treats. Women of the church contribute hand –knit coverlets, which are lovingly placed in the doll beds that are one of the varieties of toys made. Visitors are invited to drop by on Saturday mornings between 9 am and noon to see the toys and the “elves” at work. (Call the church prior to visiting, as hours have changed during the pandemic.)