Unemployment spurs new mission of giving for North Texas man

North Texas man makes homemade toys for sick children

FLOWER MOUND - When Michael Lively’s employer decided to downsize and let him go, he was confident he’d soon find a new job.

He’s waited more than a year.

For the past 17 months, the former sales manager has spent each day scouring the internet to no avail.

“About two hours each morning,” Lively said as he explained how much time he spends on the computer job searching.

“There’s a bit of anxiety like, ‘OK, where am I gonna go? What am I gonna do?,'" he said.

There’s only so much staring at the computer Lively could take. So, to pass the time, he picked up a new hobby.

Lively isn't a handyman but started making animal rocking toys. His dad made them when he was younger.

“It takes me a good 14 to 20 hours to make one of these,” he said.

The longer he was unemployed, the more these toys piled up.

Lively wasn’t sure what he was going to do with all the toys but he noticed a little girl down the street walk by and admire his work. So, on Christmas morning, he decided to gift her one and left it on the doorstep.

But he didn’t stop there.

Christmas afternoon, Lively donated the rest of his toys to a children’s hospital.

“It’s about the kids,” he said.

Since then, he’s given more than 30 of them away to hospitals, shelters and anywhere kids are in need.

“I’d love to be able to donate one of these things to literally every children’s hospital in the country,” he said.

His mission, which he calls Rocking Away the Blues, is to help children know they are loved.

Lively's not married and has no kids of his own but he’s spent nearly his entire life savings on the project.

“Admittedly, I’m struggling financially, but I’m not struggling emotionally," he said. "I can tell you that. So, if I can give those moments, I’ve got to keep going.”

He may have lost his job, but he’s clearly found his calling.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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