The Care Train Mission

To assist eligible families with children, disabled adults and seniors living in Union County by providing food vouchers during the holidays. Additionally, through the kindness of others, we are able to provide toys to the children of families we serve.

The Care Train Today

Since 1987, Care Train has served Union County’s economically challenged families with children, disabled adults and seniors.

How We Do It

Year-round, Union County businesses and residents are invited to take part in donations, volunteering, toy distribution, our annual auction and a variety of fundraising events to ensure every eligible family with children, disabled adult and senior receives holiday cheer and generosity.

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 neighbors experience during the holiday season.

We are partnered with Department of Job and Family Services of Union County  to identify families with children, disabled adults and seniors in need.  UCDJFS also verifies the state economic guidelines that qualify each household for participation in the program while maintaining their identity an 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 hundreds of families with children, disabled adults and seniors in need who are eligible for Care Train support.  Our mission continues stronger than ever to ensure each qualified applicant is reached every year.

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.

Board of Directors:

David Laslow (Chair)

Matthew Langhals (Vice Chair)

Erica Goodwin (Secretary)

Mike Karcher (Treasurer)

Shannon Bugg (Executive Director)

Dan Fitzgerald

Nathan Laslow

Michelle Amrine

Tom McCarthy

Bob Berbee

Cassandra Wallace

Courtney Sheely

Jill Johnson

Steve Finley

Eric Waggoner

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.