The Care Train Mission
To assist eligible children, families and seniors living in Union County by providing toys and food during the holidays through the kindness of others.
The Care Train Today
The Care Train has expanded to all of Union County’s economically challenged families, senior citizens and disabled residents since 1987.
How We Do It
Donations, volunteers, toy drives, our annual auction and fundraising events. The Care Train is chugging along full steam all year to invite new businesses and Union County residents to hop on this amazing ride with us.
It takes the generosity of time, gifts, money and space from dozens of business sponsors and hundreds of residents to fill the void our less fortunate friends and neighbors experience.
We are partnered with the Department of Job and Family Services of Union County to identify the children, families and seniors in need. They also verify the state economic guidelines that qualify households for the program while maintaining their identity and income confidentiality.
Why We Do It
Have you ever experienced the joy in your heart when you gave a gift to a child? Have you ever served a full holiday meal to a senior citizen that may be home bound and conditioned to rationing food month to month? In Union County, there are more than 350 families in need who qualify for Care Train support. That number climbs higher year after year which means we work harder to keep our mission strong.
That’s why we need you.
When you become the light in someone’s current darkness, you’ll realize the gift you receive by helping others is larger than any gift you provided. Witness The Care Train joy with us, and you’ll be all aboard too!
The Care Train History
When Dave Laslow realized in 1987 that there were children within Union County not able to experience what most of their classmates and neighbors did during the holidays, his passion was immediately ignited to do something about it.
“Back then my children were young and just starting school, we recognized families that were experiencing financial hardships preventing them from having traditional holiday meals and for some children – even being told Santa just couldn’t make it this year.
The Care Train took off from there. This is the time of the year when giving to others is at its highest awareness and contagious. It’s a time to reflect on your blessings and the great year you’ve had. I thought,
‘Maybe we can’t fix everything, but what if we could have toys under the tree for every child and food for the family during the holidays?’
It just might show them enough hope and love from their community that someday, when they’ve overcome their hardships, they too can join the Care Train to help the next family or neighbor in need. So I started by putting out a large cardboard box to collect toys at my Burger King restaurant. Little did I know how far we’d come today!”
– Dave Laslow, Sr. Founder of The Care Train
The Care Train is a 501(C) 3 non-profit organization with a board of volunteers working year round.
The Care Train Board:
Bob Berbee (Toy Co-Chair)
Jim Cesa (Distribution Chair)
Dan Fitzgerald (Auction Day Co-Chair)
Erica Goodwin (Secretary)
Jill Johnson (Toy Co-Chair)
Mike Karcher (Chair)
Matthew R. Langhals (Vice Chair)
David Laslow (Auction Day Co-Chair)
Tom McCarthy (Marketing Co-Chair)
Heather Wirtz (Marketing Co-Chair)
Michelle Zarzano (Treasurer)
Dave Laslow (Emeritus)
Our volunteer and donation network assists to network more sponsors, participate in events such as the annual auction held the second Saturday each December. Organize giving trees at stores and churches, toy drive boxes at business locations throughout the county and much, much more.