They didn’t do it for the fanfare. In fact, it wasn’t until weeks later that anyone started hearing what the members of IAM Local Lodge10 in Newport News, VA had done one brisk, fall Saturday in November. Because for this lodge, community service isn’t something to brag about, it’s just something you do.
“Without any accolades, the Machinists at Local 10 took it upon themselves to make a difference in their community by volunteering at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank,” said Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace. “That action to help their community shows the true spirit of our members. And even though they didn’t want any recognition for their good work, we would be remiss not to applaud the generosity and initiative of our union family in Newport News.”
More than a dozen members of Local 10 and their families spent the day loading food onto trucks that will be distributed throughout an area of the country where one in seven people struggle with hunger. Machinist Bernard Banks, who helped organize this event, wants the community to know the IAM is here to help.
“Especially in this area, the union gets a bad rap and we want to change that. We have some of the best jobs in town working for Continental Auto Group and we are grateful to be able to help those in our community who may need a helping hand. This is just one of many volunteer opportunities we are organizing for the future,” said Banks.
“We all have a community we should be responsible for helping – it’s as simple as that,” added George Koch, a 28-year member of the IAMAW. “This is our home and we need to take care of it. The only question we should be asking is ‘What else can we do?’”