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:

Matthew Langhals (President)

Matthew Langhals has been part of the Care Train Board of Directors since 2104.  Matthew is originally from Ottoville, Ohio, but he has worked and lived in the Marysville area since 2012.  Matthew is married to his wife, Deb.  They enjoy do-it-yourself projects and spending as much time as they can outside.  Matthew views his participation with the Care Train of Union County as second nature, and plans to stay around as long as the Care Train will have him.

Erica Goodwin (Vice President)

Erica Goodwin is a lifelong resident of Union County. She grew up working in her parent’s local business, Mrs. Renison’s Donuts. She is a Marysville Alumni and graduate of the Ohio State University with her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Erica has a passion for working with the youth in her hometown. She is a former elementary school teacher for Marysville Schools but continues to remain active within the district. For the past 6 years, Erica has helped build Goodwin Services, a general contracting company, with her husband Jason Goodwin. Goodwin Services has been a huge supporter of the Care Train for many years. Erica was asked to be on the Care Train Board almost 4 years ago and loves giving back to those who make Union County such a special place. Being able to raise her children, Alayna and Lanson, where she grew up, and encourage them to give back to their community is something she has always felt strongly about.

Mike Karcher (Treasurer)

Mike Karcher is a lifelong resident of Union County and a graduate of the Ohio State University.  Mike has been a commercial lender for over 25 years with various community banks.  Mike has been on the Care Train Board of Directors for over ten years and has served on other community boards including United Way, the YMCA and Junior Achievement.  Mike and his family currently reside in Marysville, Ohio .

Steve Finley (Secretary)

Steve Finley has been an avid supporter of Care Train since 2006 and a member of the Board of Directors since 2020.  Steve retired from The Motorist Insurance Group in 2017 after 35 years of service in Information Technology. Since that time and currently, Steve works at Honda Marysville, a proud sponsor of Care Train. Steve and his wife, Inez, have lived in Marysville since 2005 and have 5 sons and 7 grandchildren.

Shannon Bugg (Executive Director)

Shannon Bugg joined our Care Train team as the Executive Director in 2021.  Shannon’s background is based in franchising, specifically the early education and care sector.  Shannon, her husband Scott and their three children reside on a farm outside of Richwood.  She and her husband Scott are active in their local school district, local 4-H chapter and various outreach programs in Union County. Care Train of Union County’s mission speaks to the heart of what it means to be a Union County resident and Shannon looks forward to expanding the organizations outreach and support in the coming years.

David Laslow

David Laslow has been part of the Care Train Board of Directors since its early days serving in various roles, currently he serves as board President.  David is from Marysville Ohio and lives here with his wife Erin, and two children Camden and Hadley.   A 2008 Ohio State University graduate David is also involved with The Memorial Hospital Foundation and various professional organizations involving the Burger King business.  David enjoys golf, OSU and Cleveland Browns football, and spending time with family.

Dan Fitzgerald

Dan Fitzgerald is a lifelong resident of Union County.  He graduated from Marysville High School and the University of Notre Dame.  Dan and his son Sean own McAuliffe’s Ace Hardware in Marysville.  He has volunteered for the Care Train of Union County for over thirty years and hosted the annual Care Train Auction at his business every year beginning in 2001.

Cassandra Wallace

Cassandra Wallace is the Director of Risk Management and Compliance for Memorial Hospital. She joined the Care Train Board of Directors in Spring 2021. Cassandra has previously participated in the Kiwanis Club of Marysville and coached the Let Me Run Club at Northwood Elementary. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University and resides in Franklin County with her husband and two children.

Eric Waggoner

Eric Waggoner has been a part of the Care Train Board of Directors since 2020. Eric is originally from Columbus, IN but has lived and worked in the Marysville area since 2010. Eric is married to his wife Hannah and they have three children named Tristan, Hudson, and Adalynn. Eric works within the local community through his local church and the Columbus area via other community outreach programs such as Junior Achievement. Eric enjoys the work that Care Train of Union County does within the community and looks forward to continuing to support this organization for the many years to come.

Pam Sturwold

Pam Sturwold started with Care Train in 2013 as a volunteer for a way to meet people in the community when she moved to Union County.  In 2014, she became the Executive Director for 7 years and now is serving as a Board Member.  Care Train has been a wonderful way to help serve this community.

When her and her husband are not traveling, she loves spending time with her 3 children and their 5 beautiful grandchildren. She also enjoys walking, reading, socializing with friends and gardening.

Matt Clark

Joined Richwood Bank as Chief Banking Officer in Spring 2021.  As CBO, Matt directs strategy and sales approach for the retail, commercial and consumer lending, marketing, and experience aspects of the bank.  Matt has 25 years of banking experience previously working in markets throughout northeast Ohio as well as Chicago, IL.  Prior to joining Richwood Bank, Matt spent 12 years at a super-regional Midwest bank leading a top performing, multi-county region focused on growth in the business banking and retail segments.  He is a graduate of Youngstown State University and lives in Plain City with his wife, Karen, and two sons, Colin and Noah.  As a family, they enjoy youth sports and traveling.

Our volunteer and donation network assists to network more sponsors, participate in events such as the annual auction held the second Saturday each December.