The Annual Red Wagon Fare Luncheon

When: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 beginning at 10:30 am; lunch at noon

Where: Villa Milano Banquet and Conference Center

Red Wagon Fare features a luncheon, a shopping boutique of vendors from Central Ohio and a style show provided by ModeAlise, LeFlair and Lilylimes. Proceeds from the event go to support projects for at-risk infants and children in the Columbus area.

In Ohio, 1 in 5 children is living below the poverty level. Christ Child Society members are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of these children and work to “challenge poverty – one child at a time.” Christ Child Society of Columbus volunteers donate over 10,000 hours each year through outreach programs that include providing layettes with baby essentials, books, and parenting information to over 1700 infants and their parents; child care tuition assistance and pre-school learning programs; infant supplies to women attending parenting classes; hot meals for over 100 children weekly after school; tutoring and scholarships.

Tickets are $50 per person. Make checks out to Christ Child Society of Columbus and return to: Red Wagon Fare c/o Erin Vinci P.O Box 340091 Columbus Ohio 43234-0091

You can also purchase your tickets online here:

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Why Red Wagon?

More than a century ago, Mary Virginia Merrick’s gift of a red wagon began a tradition that continues today. The year was 1884 - the Christmas season. America was experiencing unprecedented economic growth; it was the “gilded age.” Mary Virginia Merrick was partially paralyzed after a fall. Fortunately her family could afford to hire Paul, a personal errand boy, for their daughter. Nothing was gilded about young Paul’s life. With an unemployed father, and a mother working as the Merrick’s laundress, there was little money for necessities. Christmas presents were out of the question. Paul told Mary Virginia that he wanted a red wagon – a wagon he could use to “...carry home [his] Mother’s wash.” An impossible dream, one might think. Mary’s solution was simple:  

“Write a letter to the Christ Child...the giver of all good gifts.”

Paul wrote the letter, and Mary Virginia and her friends helped the “Christ Child” fulfill his wish. The story continues that the first person to get a ride in Paul’s wagon was the life size baby Jesus from his church’s Christmas Nativity scene.

Mary Virginia Merrick’s philanthropy did not end there. In 1887, Mary learned of a family in extreme poverty who was expecting a baby due to arrive at Christmas. Mary persuaded her sisters and friends to assemble a layette for this Christmas baby. It was delivered to a deeply grateful mother in time for her joyous event.  Mary’s acts of kindness continued, and the “Society of the Christ Child” was born. The red wagon became a symbol for Mary Virginia Merrick’s lifelong service to impoverished children. Since its inception, the guiding principle of the Society has been to give the gift of personal service “for love of the Christ Child to the least of His little ones.”

Christ Child Society of Columbus hosts an annual Red Wagon fund raising event in honor of the example of Mary Virginia Merrick who often said,  

“Find a need and fill it.”

We are humbled and thankful that our friends and benefactors share with us the desire to serve children in Central Ohio through helping to fund our many projects.