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Volunteers, donations needed for Vandenberg's Christmas Eve 'Wagon'

(U.S. Air Force graphic/Janet Kays)

(U.S. Air Force graphic/Janet Kays)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- As the holiday season draws near, the Vandenberg community is reminded of a special volunteer opportunity in which every person, with base access, can participate.

The Vandenberg Ho Ho Wagon is a group of volunteers who assemble every year to deliver food and beverages to base employees who are at work on Christmas Eve.

For more than 29 years, the success of the Ho Ho Wagon program has been dependent upon the support of its volunteers.

"The volunteers are very important," said James McLean, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron fire inspector and lead for the Ho Ho Wagon program. "The more people we have the better. This program shows the workers that the Vandenberg community cares about them."

At a minimum, the program needs 10 volunteers to make the deliveries, but additional help is welcomed and will not be turned away.

"Put yourself in the workers' shoes," Mr. McLean said. "Try and see yourself working Christmas Eve and imagine how it would feel if people stopped by to drop off food to you and said 'thank you' for what you are doing."

Beginning at 6 p.m. Dec. 24, the volunteers will load the vehicles provided by the 30th Logistics Readiness Squadron's Transportation Flight and spend the next couple of hours visiting with people at approximately 30 work centers on base.

People who plan to participate in making the deliveries are reminded to dress appropriately based on the weather. Servicemembers may wear civilian clothes.

For those people who would like to contribute, but are unable to make the deliveries on Christmas Eve, donations are a critical element in sustaining the Ho Ho Wagon. The program relies on food, drink and monetary donations from individuals, organizations and the local community. Examples of food and drink items to donation include (but are not limited to) cookies, pies, sandwiches, fruit drinks, hot chocolate and instant coffee.

For more information, or to participate in the Ho Ho Wagon, call James McLean at 606-4680. To make a donation, bring the monetary, food or drink items directly to Fire Station 2 (Building 10660) and ask for James McLean. Food and drink items that are perishable should be donated one to two days prior to the departure of the Ho Ho Wagon on Christmas Eve.