IAM District 9 H.E.L.P.S. Build Beds For Illinois Children in Need

Every year, IAM District 9 in Missouri carries out a community service project in line with the Midwest Territory’s “IAM H.E.L.P.S. in the Community” initiative. This year, District 9 H.E.L.P.S. Coordinator and Business Representative Darren Bierman led a project in which IAM Locals 41, 313 and 660 participated to build beds for local youths in need at an Alton, Ill. facility called Sleep in Heavenly Peace, No Kid Sleeps On The Floor In Our Town! 

On May 11, 2024, more than a dozen IAM members and their families, along with District 9’s secretary and her husband, united in a collective effort. They built a total of 16 beds, a testament to the community spirit of IAM District 9. The District 9 H.E.L.P.S. Committee contributed $1,000 from their fund and collected more than $1,000 in monetary donations. IAM Local 660 spearheaded a bedding drive, with several IAM Locals and individuals generously donating. Kenna Lenhardt, daughter of District 9 Business Representative Luke Lenhardt, initiated a bedding drive at her high school, further amplifying the impact of the project. 

The District 9 committee, with Darren Bierman at the helm, did all the work from start to finish. Volunteers meticulously sanded the boards and skillfully assembled the head and foot boards and side rails, ensuring the beds were sturdy and safe. The wood was then stained, giving the beds a warm and inviting look. Once the pieces were ready, they were loaded into a truck and the team set off to the houses that were getting the beds. At each house, volunteers assembled the beds, carefully put the mattress on, and finished the beds with sheets, blankets, and pillows, turning them into cozy and comfortable spaces for the children. 

“The impact was immediate and profound, resonating within the local community,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Sam Cicinelli. “The beds, a product of our collective effort, now provide comfort to children who previously had no bed and were sleeping on the floor. This tangible difference in their lives is a testament to the importance and relevance of our community service projects. My thanks go out to all those involved for their work on this exceptional project.

“It really hit the heartstrings delivering the beds, I can’t even start to explain the emotions I felt seeing these kids get a bed,” said IAM District 9 Business Representative Darren Bierman. “Their little faces light up, and their smiles will bring a tear to the biggest man’s eye. It really makes you realize a small amount of kindness can completely change someone’s life.”

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