Texas Connects Us: Rocking Away the Blues

The heat index is well over 100 degrees as Michael Lively wipes sweat off his forehead.

"At some point I'm going to invest in a fan," he joked.

Michael is creating animal-themed children's rocking chairs.

He's cutting and sanding wood in the middle of his driveway in Flower Mound.

It's not exactly where he wants to be.

"I've been out of work now for about a year," he said.

But he knows this is where he needs to be.

"Just trying to stay busy," he added. "I made a couple of these things for some friends. They seemed to be well received and that's where the idea spawned for taking them to the children's hospital."

Michael builds every rocker by hand.  A skill he learned from his father.

"When I was much, much younger," he recalled, "I played around with it to help him, this would have been years ago."

Now he does it for kids who could just use a smile.

"These are for little kids who are in their own little unfortunate world at the moment," he said.

Hospital rules keep Michael from ever seeing the kids reaction.

"They won't let me go past the first floor, and I understand that," he explained.

Still, he can just imagine what the kids think. It's ironic for a man who could use a little help himself.

"I'm not doing this for a pat on the back, I just know, based on even when the kids in the neighborhood come by and look at these things, what it must be like for some little kid that's having a bad day."

Michael's hopeful he'll find full-time work again, soon. Until then, he'll keep trying to make others happy.

"We all got something wrong with us, but we all got good things too," he said.

If you'd like to help Michael keep creating these chairs, you can donate money here.

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