12/13/11: Next year, for Christmas 2012, the Union will be bringing back the Red Wagon Parade program for gathering Christmas toys for local children in the Washington, D.C. area. This renewed program will be jointly sponsored by Commissioners Aguilar, Gallagher and Paredes. If you would like to help out with this program in 2012, please contact Chapter 293 Vice President Pat Copeland, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Red Wagon Parade program has been a universally popular program since 2005, when it was launched in the SEC’s Washington office by Jeff Risinger, the SEC's Associate Executive Director of the Office of Human Resources. The program was intended to be an opportunity to build SEC employee morale during the holiday season by encouraging employees from diverse backgrounds to join together to collect gifts for children who may not have otherwise received them.
In the past, the program has involved teams of 8 to 10 employees who decorated a simple red wagon along a theme of their choice and filled it with toys and gifts to be donated to children through a Washington-area community organization. The program included a competition in which the wagons were displayed in a parade and a winning red wagon was selected. The winning team received a pizza lunch and a traveling Red Wagon Parade trophy. More than forty teams participated last year, and hundreds of gifts were gathered for needy organizations and families.
In 2011, the Red Wagon Parade was canceled by the SEC's Chief Operating Officer due to "an extraordinary workload in the face of a significant resource shortfall at the SEC." Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman recently noted that “we are grateful that the the SEC Veterans Committee sponsored a collection of gifts through the Toys for Tots program this year. We look forward to reviving the Red Wagon Parade next year consistent with the spirit in which it was created.”