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On Track to Spread Joy

Published December 2023 | In Winter 2024

It’s always fun to share what you love, and for this miniature car collector there’s nothing better than putting smiles on kids’ faces.

On Track to Spread Joy Media

Jason Olivencia is a car guy. The 12-year enlisted Air Force Technical Sergeant has a set of wheels to match his passion: a custom 2005 red and yellow Ford Mustang Joey Logano Hot Wheels replica. His car’s build has many features you’d expect from a car show-worthy ride: custom intake, exhaust, racing seats and endless upgrades.

When Jason’s Ford rumbled into the Monument Health Rapid City Hospital parking lot in October, it was filled with a donation to the pediatrics unit that represents his other hobby: collecting Hot Wheels.

Jason and his Mustang are aligned with Driven Dreams, an organization that holds an annual event to donate Hot Wheels to hospitals and other charities or organizations that accept donations for children.

This was the third annual national Diecast Day of Giving and the second time Jason has brought toys for Monument Health’s youngest patients. He brought 1,000 cars the first year and even more this fall.

Jason gave first dibs from numerous boxes full of sealed Hot Wheels to some patients in the pediatrics unit, taking some time to share videos of his car and wishing the patients and their families well.

“We really had some happy kids, and we will continue to get smiles over the next year as we hand them out,” said Amanda Horsley, Manager Nurse in the pediatrics unit. “Some of our kids go through some tough things here, and any little thing that can bring them happiness matters.”

The Texas native’s Hot Wheels collecting led him to start a YouTube channel called “Mustang Hunter Diecast,” and he has been part of an online collector’s community ever since. Multiple collectors joined together to ship Hot Wheels for a good cause the first year, and the event has grown from there, with organizers making donations in their local communities.

“The reward is just so great. Seeing the kids and their excitement reminds me of when I got my first car when I was a kid, and knowing that these will go to kids who are going through some hard times means a lot,” Jason said. “Knowing that one of them may spark an interest for some boy or girl to get into cars or Hot Wheels is awesome.”

Jason currently has 7,000 Hot Wheels in his “keeper” collection, most of them are different variations of Ford Mustangs.

“I love cool cars, and there are so many cars that I want when I see them. I'm like, ‘Man, I'd love to buy that,’” he said. “Hot Wheels comes out with every car you can think of, and that is my way of collecting them and checking those off my list.”

Story and Photos by Bob Slocum