Michigan Local Honors Fallen Member by Making Masks for IAM Healthcare Heroes

Members of IAM Local 698 had not met an IAM Sister who recently passed from COVID-19, but they knew they wanted to do something in her memory.

District Assisting District Business Representative Jeff McLeod made a Facebook post with a letter of condolences to members of Local 218 on the passing of Sister Lydia Lopez, who worked at the Samaritas Senior Living Center in Saginaw.

Lopez succumbed to complications from the coronavirus in early April.

After seeing the Facebook post, members of IAM Local 698 decided to produce and deliver masks for personal protection to the workers at Samaritas, just a few miles away. The first donation of approximately 50 washable masks were made using donated materials.

“I’d like to thank the volunteers who made this possible,” said IAM Local 698 President Sean McDonald. “The donation to our sister lodge was made with a heavy heart for the loss of our sister, but at the same time with great pride. The unity and pride that went into making these masks embodies the IAM motto ‘service to the community,’ and they make me proud to be a member.”

“I cannot express my gratitude to these members in words,” said District 60 Directing Business Representative Bobby Atanasovski. “The loss of Sister Lopez, an essential worker in housekeeping at Samaritas, while caring for the most vulnerable amongst us was heart breaking. My personal thanks to all of our members at Local 698 for their efforts.”

“Union members see the need in their communities and they work to fill those needs,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. “My thanks go out to those members who responded to the need of our sisters and brothers on the frontlines during this pandemic. I’d also like to thank DBR Bobby Atanasovski, ADBR Jeff McLeod and the members of Local 698.”

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