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Radio Flyer Wagon Project: A Partnership with United Way’s Hands on Central Texas

by Mary Alice Carnes, Community Relations Director

Last week Theatre Action Project’s partnership with United Way’s Hands on Central Texas to decorate 45 Radio Flyer Wagons came to a reality. The project engaged United Healthcare employees who were on hand in Austin to decorate them. The wagons would then go to several area organizations including  Dell Children’s Medical Center, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin.

TAP’s mission: define fun themes for decorating the wagons, determine the process for decorating them, and gather the supplies the group of United Healthcare employees would utilize.

TAP had a great time brainstorming and then finalizing the final five themes: animals, racecars, rock and country western music stars, bugs, and superheroes. Thanks to Katie Grills, our Community Relations VISTA, our methods for decorating included painting (house paint and spray paint), adhering colorful and textured papers and fabric with Mod Podge, taping, tying, and even stapling. We found out that you should never underestimate the use of Tacky Glue to tack things on such as colorful rhinestones and boas. By the way, strands of boas, make for great caterpillar creations  and a variety of striped and spotted tapes can recall the tail of a leopard, or the shiny part of a speedy race car. For the other supplies we had a lot of fun picking up animal and bug stencils, assorted colorful papers, rock and roll decals and stickers, pages of sheet music, an assortment of superhero comic books, and items to take the wagons from 2-D to 3-D including masks, butterfly and insect wings, bandanas, and vinyl for making superhero capes.

In the end, the over 200 United Healthcare employees assembled and decorated all the wagons with a great deal of zeal in a very short amount of time. A rented truck took the decorated wagons to their destination: children and families who will have so much joy playing with a fun Radio Flyer Wagon.

I am so thankful for our amazing TAP volunteers Charity C. Chukwu, Racimony Hun, and Alicia Santana, for helping us with this fun project and dipping into their Creative Artist side to make this happen.

If you had the opportunity to decorate a Radio Flyer Wagon, how would you decorate it and what methods would you use? The possibilities are endless and we would love to have you share with us.

About creativeactionaustin

We are based in Austin, Texas and reach more than 16,000 young people every year through our unique blend of theatre and education programs.Our programs expose young people to critical social problems and offer opportunities for them to creatively think about how they can be a part of solutions to these problems. Creative Action is a unique blend of art and education – for us, the two are intertwined. We believe that using the arts as a teaching method provides a fun, engaging and inspiring way to learn – it incorporates the whole mind and body.

One response »

  1. Our families loved the wagons! We were thrilled to be able to make them available to families currently staying at the Ronald McDonald House. Thank you for this support which brightened the day for these children facing pediatric medical crises.


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