LAS VEGAS - Some might call Rex Doty a modern day Santa Clause. For six years, he has been hard at work making toys for kids. To date, his group has made 127,000 toys for kids in southern Nevada and around the world. This Santa's workshop started in a garage.
"For the first four years, the 65,000 toys, we were in five garages," said Rex's wife Mary Doty. "Five dedicated people that just kept this thing going."
Now, he has a real workshop and 50 helpers who volunteer their time to his non-profit Toys for Smiles.
"It's just priceless," said Rex's colleague Art Martinez. "It's priceless to see the smiles on their faces, whether it be the parents or the children."
The recipients of the toys come in all ages.
"We always carry toys with us," Rex said. "We saw an elderly couple sitting in a room. We said, ‘Hey you want some toys?' The wife said, ‘Sure.' So, we gave her some toys. Little while later, she comes with tears running down her cheeks. He hadn't been able to move his arm in a long time. When he saw that toy, he picked it up."
Rex and his helpers work year-round to collect smiles.
"He's a very humble man. He never ever lets on," Mary said. "They've done it. We've done it. I've done it. He never takes the credit. He's amazing."
8 News NOW decided it was time to collect a smile from Rex – awarding him $800 for his charitable efforts as part of our new weekly series Acts of Kindness.