Bidding is already open for this year’s Care Train of Union County auction.
Last year the Care Train opened its auction to online bids. The move proved so successful that bidders nearly crashed the organization’s bid system. This year, officials decided to open the bidding even earlier.
“We are online bidding already, which is exciting for us,” said Pam Sturwold, executive director for Care Train of Union County. “We have some great bidding going on already.”
For those who choose to participate in the more traditional ways, the Care Train will hold the annual live and silent auctions from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, at McAuliffe’s Ace Hardware.
Sturwold said there are many larger items for the live auction, which is expected to begin about noon. She said the live auction will be a bit smaller this year, but there will be additional items as part of the auction boards.
The goal of the Care Train is to help eligible children, families and seniors living in Union County by providing toys and food during the holidays.
Toys are donated by individuals and companies who “adopt” families or donate into one of the Care Train barrels around the community. Money raised through the auction or the associated concert will be used to purchase food vouchers for families in need.
Sturwold said this year the Care Train will help 291 families with children, 357 seniors, 625 children and 85 disabled adults.
“These people are so appreciative,” Sturwold said.
She said the auction is exciting, but when people come to pick up toys and gifts, that’s what makes the work worthwhile.
“We get to see them get their toys and the tears in their eyes, it’s a really neat day and we know we have done the right thing,” Sturwold said.
She said the community repeatedly does the right thing.
“It is just amazing how this county and the communities and all the citizens come together to help those in need in the community,” Sturwold said.
The director explained that business rivals will set aside differences for a day to work together to buy gifts or an auction item or even volunteer time.
“That doesn’t happen in every community,” she said.
Sturwold added, “this is just a very generous community.”
Leaders say it takes a lot of people to make the Care Train work.
“People think it is just a small number of people that do this work. It isn’t,” Sturwold said. “This is a large group of people that make this happen — from the people that donate toys, that donate money, everybody that contributes to the auction items, or volunteer to help, people who donate cash, the people at DJFS who help us get people qualified.”
Those who can’t be at the auction can still participate. Bidders can go to the Care Train website at, www.caretrain.org or call (937) 738-7946 directions or register for a bid number. Participants can also go to the Care Train website and press on the live stream button to watch the auction. The organization’s Facebook feed will be live up to the minute on all the action.
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