IAM Locals Supply Holiday Toys for Kids

Local 1280 members and retirees stand with bikes they donated to the Salvation Army’s “Bikes for Kids” drive.

IAM members in Maine and Ohio went to extraordinary lengths to make the holiday season a little brighter for children in their communities.

U.S. Marines joined Local S6 members for the Local’s annual gate collection to benefit the Marine Corp’s Toys for Tots campaign.

IAM Local S6 in Bath, ME collected an estimated $20,000 in toys and bikes, and over $13,000 in cash donations for its annual U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign.

“Every year the Toys for Tots effort is one our members not only look forward to, but they seem to dig a little deeper to make it a success,” said Local S6 President Jay Wadleigh. “To collect more than $33,000 for this campaign is just tremendous, and I’d like to extend my thanks to the Community Services Committee, our Stewards, and everyone here that stood at the gates with the Marines and loaded the trucks with the collected goods.”

In Newark, OH, IAM Local 1280 members carried on the 11-year tradition of supplying new bicycles and helmets to the Salvation Army.

It all started with deceased IAM member Dave “Stinky” Pugh, who with his wife would donate several bicycles each holiday season to the Salvation Army’s “Bikes for Kids” drive.

Local 1280 members at fiberglass-manufacturer Owens Corning joined together with the Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers (GMP) to purchase and assemble 140 bikes and helmets for the program. Money for the bikes is raised through employee donations, contributions from other unions, local businesses and other organizations. Management also joins in by raffling off a vacation day, bringing the grand total raised for the effort to $6,500.

“Everybody knows that bicycles are a classic Christmas wish for kids,” said IAM District 54 President and Directing Business Representative T. Dean Wright, Jr. “This effort has become a classic tribute to honor the memory of a good union brother.”

Over the years, the Newark team has donated nearly 1,000 bikes to the program.

“Thanks go out to all the members of Local 1280, that not only donate money and time to make this a successful project, but also put the finishing touches on the bikes,” said Wright. “A big thank you goes to our retirees, the other unions, and management at Owens Corning, who pitch in to see that this is a success each year.”