Good food, gifts and giving—three things that make Christmas Day magical. The same three things also go into the magic of the annual Wagons Ho Ho Ho Build Day, when Quantum Health volunteers spend a day building iconic red Roadmaster wagons and filling them with ingredients for a festive holiday meal.
Each filled wagon, valued at about $50, is given to a Columbus-area family in need because, according to their website, "a little red wagon delivers more than a Christmas dinner and a memorable toy. It delivers HOPE."
Wagons Ho Ho Ho has been one of Quantum Health's most popular charitable causes. In fact, last year, we had the biggest volunteer group to ever participate in Build Day!
For one day, an ordinary recreation center gymnasium is turned into "Santa's Workshop," filled with hundreds of volunteers (including a DJ playing holiday music) and enough holiday spirit to make 1,250 food-filled wagons without calling on a single elf.
This year, the Wagons Ho Ho Ho organization upped the goal to 1,500 wagons. And Quantum Health responded in kind. We were able to secure 100 "Wagoneer" slots for Build Day on December 1, and within 10 minutes of our company-wide announcement, all slots were filled with a ton of interest left over. Quantum Health's Wagoneers were split into two three-hour shifts, to accommodate our number of volunteers.
"It was so much fun that when my shift was over, I didn't want to leave," Brittany Stueber said. "The energy was absolutely contagious." She and her husband built eight wagons. "The very best part is getting to sign the bottom when you finish."
To involve more Quantum Health associates, we held a canned protein food drive during our monthly Warrior Feast in November and extended it through the end of November. Next year, the Wagons Ho Ho Ho organization will be upping the goal again, and there is little doubt we will fill even more volunteer spots.