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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Wagons Ho Ho Ho

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Wagons Ho Ho Ho is a charity founded on delivering Christmas hope to families in need during the holidays. ​Each year, the volunteers of Wagons Ho Ho Ho work year round to ensure that 1,500 children know Christmas morning … because every child deserves a Christmas. Fundraising, food sourcing, partner gathering, wagon buying. There’s so much that goes into our annual BUILD DAY at Wagons Ho Ho Ho. If you’ve experienced that day, you know that it’s nothing short of magical. But thanks to our 100% volunteer driven organization, that magic happens. We transform an ordinary gym into Santa’s workshop – because we truly believe that that little red wagon delivers more than a Christmas dinner and a memorable toy. It delivers HOPE. Can you help us this year? If you are connected to a church, a community program or a non-profit that can help us reach those children in dire need – those that otherwise would not have a Christmas – please connect with us. We’d love to partner with you to get our wagons and our meals to even more families than ever before. That first year (11 years ago), a mere 25 wagons (and food) were purchased and distributed to needy families during the Holiday season. This year our goal is 1,500 wagons and with a Christmas dinner in each wagon for families in need during the holidays.

Results: Wagons Ho Ho Ho is now in its 11th year of existence. We hit our 2017 goal of 1,250 wagons plus a Christmas dinner in every wagon. We also donated an additional 6000 pounds of food to area food pantries and worked with more than a 25 charitable distribution partners to find those children in dire need. We’ve come a long way with the help of RMD, Corporate Supporters, Community Organizations and Volunteers. Join us this year, and see how good it feels!

Target demographics: Ensure that children who otherwise wouldn't have a Christmas ... do.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1500 children and their families, and also brought a unique holiday tradition to nearly 650 volunteers who come together to build wagons for children.

Geographic areas served: more than 20 counties in Ohio

Programs: We buy and build wagons, and stuff them with a Christmas dinner. We also donate more than 6,000 pounds of food to local pantries

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Alissa8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a project myself and a group of volunteers participate in every year for the last couple of years and we love it. You leave all warm and fuzzy. We have a great time and we are helping as well so many familes as well. All year until next event my group asks me do you know when it is yet? Keep up the good work! Love what you do! Alissa Pugh-Clark The Key to Giving

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I signed up for "build day several years ago, expecting a grueling day on a cold, hard, gymnasium floor. I could not have been more wrong. The excitement of the volunteers, the urgency to get the wagons built, filled with food, and onto the trucks to their committed destinations was a lot to comprehend! Meanwhile, there was also constant excitement during "shift" changes and "dance parties" to bring excitement into the room. What an inspiring event! What I think is the best part of this annual event is seeing the wagons being picked up and delivered to unsuspecting kids who otherwise might not have known the spirit of giving. Every year this event grows. This year, sign up was full within a few short hours. Even the volunteers compete to get in for build day. Amazing!!

Donnelly D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I absolutely LOVE this non-profit. You can feel the heart behind each event, and every volunteer has a distinct (and important) role. The impact is massive, across the whole community and genuinely benefits the recipients of each wagon filled with food, as well as the volunteers who come together on ONE day to build 1,500 wagons. Wagons Ho Ho Ho is an outlet for the community service and love we all have a deep, deep need for.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wagons Ho Ho Ho is a fantastic organization that not only serves families and children in need during the holiday season, but also brings the community together in a way that TRULY matters. Every volunteer cares deeply and the organization has a special way of making each person feel as though Wagons Ho Ho Ho is "their charity". This is a wonderfully special group of people who move mountains each and every year... all in the hopes that just one child will feel loved and find hope.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

A great charity that supports the local Columbus community and children in a big way!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended Build Day 20176 and I am so excited to attend Build Day 2017! There is such a buzz in the air and everyone is so excited, and willing to help and get these wagons build!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I know I'm partial because the originator of this charity is my daughter & son-in-law. But having said that I would still rate it a 5. I worked on the first 25 wagons, but wasn't able to be there much after that. Last year I joined them and when I walked into that gym and saw all of those tables w/boxes of wagons, I was in awe! Then to watch the 600+ volunteers, so happy to be there (some it was their 6th year!) was amazing. I know how hard they work each year to make it a success. Plus 100% of monies is put into the charity - non for wages, etc. The mood the day of assembling the wagons us addicting. Can hardly wait to help again this year!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is an outstanding organization that works hard year round to make sure families are taken care of for the holidays.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There's nothing quite as fulfilling as Wagon Build day! To experience the incredible amount of volunteers building hundreds and hundreds of wagons each shift, to all the bagging of groceries, and the heartfelt smiles of those that arrive to pickup the wagons... it's an amazing feeling to be in a place where so much joy and gratitude is expressed.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm so excited to be apart of the action this year. What a great idea to support people in need. Great environment, great people, great fundraiser!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with Wagons Ho Ho Ho for three years and every year it's so rewarding to participate in build day and feel the gratitude from the recipient families. The team works so hard to ensure that as many children have a Christmas dinner/wagon as possible.

Kelley F.1

Donor

Rating: 5

Wagons Ho Ho Ho is a Columbus, Ohio based charity founded by my sister, Sue Reninger and her husband, Donn Ditzhazy, both originally from Trenton, MI and in Columbus OH for 20+ years. Sue and Donn, along with their dedicated family and staff from RMD Advertising have taken this charity from 25 wagons in their first year to 1,500 this year! Each wagon is built on build day, loaded with groceries for Christmas Dinner for a family of 4, and picked up by Churches, Community Groups, etc. serving the greater Columbus area, and delivered to families in need (which are scouted and selected by Sue and Donn, and the RMD family throughout the year).

Each year, the Ditzhazy's create such an amazing, giving environment, and the word has spread so strongly that they have had to turn volunteers away, despite expanding to 3 shifts and larger venues!! They bring in beverages, meals & snacks ALL DAY, and have a DJ and Santa for the duration (12 hours) to keep the busy volunteers motivated! Dance breaks are a regular event, giving everyone a chance to dance, laugh, and enjoy the wonderful work they're doing! Food and beverages are donated by local shops, and are available all day for the tired, hungry but happy workers. It's all quite amazing, I've never really seen or felt anything like it!

Last year I worked all 3 shifts loading groceries into bags and bags into wagons for the volunteers to wheel out to waiting recipients. It was exhausting, but MORE exhilerating because of the energy created in that room. It's really an extremely joyful, rewarding experience!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wagons Ho Ho HO is an amazing charity! Build day is an awesome experience and helps so many children! Thank you!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I just began working with Wagons Ho Ho Ho and from what I've seen so far, they are a very passionate and hardworking group. They give out Christmas dinners to families in need and a wagon for a child. The leaders want to keep this organization growing and provide even more, so everyone can have a great Christmas. What could be better? Thank you for all you do!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Build Day is so busy, but such a fun time. You feel like you're actually helping the Ohio community when you're hands-on, building a wagon for a child from scratch. It's so special and sweet that each wagon is filled with a Christmas dinner, too! I'll help out every single year!!

Ginny E.1

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm not only in love with the mission of Wagon's Ho Ho Ho, but the way they bring their vision to pass, by their exclusionary practices on build day. In a room filled with 300 people you will find someone from every walk of life. The wealthy and the middle class standing side by side, Religious and non religious people united in purpose, gay and straight focused on their desires to love and care for children, all of whom believer that "Every Child deserves a Christmas".

The other think I love is that 100% every dollar we give goes right towards helping families.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Build Day is about building hope, one wheel at a time

Vaedra H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have been doing this for a couple of years now and it's always a great time! Not only is it a fun, uplifting experience you can do with the whole family, it's also great knowing that you are helping out families in need, especially during the holidays! I would ask anyone to donate a few hours of their time, I promise you that once you go, you will be back!!! It's a great program all around!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Build Day is amazing! With all of the volunteers building wagons, the food and the music pumpin'... it truly feels like Santa's Workshop! This a charity that I plan to support for a long time, where strangers get together and build wagons for children in need. It truly is a blessing for those receiving the wagons and those who are building them. Go Wagons Ho Ho Ho!

kditzh

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been to 2-3 Build Days during the 10 years Wagons Ho Ho Ho has been running, and have helped out in volunteering to gain donations from the public. It's amazing how far they've come. From year one, to their latest event, it's humbling to see just how many families they're helping each year. It's also amazing to see how much the community will line up to support in providing monetary or food donations such as coffee, water, bagels, great pizza, and other goodies for volunteers during the event AND there was a DJ! The energy is always amazing! Will definitely be involved every single year! I love wagons ho ho ho!!