Two Mahoning Valley families in-need received a special surprise holiday gift from the electricians last week.
The gift presentations were made on behalf of NECA-IBEW Electricians member contractors and IBEW Local 64 in Youngstown and Local 573 in Warren.
The first stop was in Fowler Township in Trumbull County to surprise Roni Conner, a fire fighter lieutenant and 911 dispatcher who lost her family’s home to an electrical fire in October. Five family members and six pets have been displaced since then and living in a hotel as they’ve been trying to rebuild what was lost.
“Awhile back we became aware of Roni’s situation and her loss,” said Jack Morse, IBEW Local 573 business manager. “Annually, we like to a Christmas donation and this seemed like a good place to put our efforts. Hopefully we helped out a little here at Christmas time.”
A Target gift card will help Conner buy some needed items as well as Christmas gifts for her two-year-old and nine-month-old grandchildren, who live with her.
“The community support, including with the electricians, has been amazing and something we never expected,” Conner said. “Through this tragedy I’ve met a lot of really awesome people that I didn’t know were out there.”
From there the NECA-IBEW Electricians “Santa’s helpers” drove to Liberty Township to present another gift card to Bob Mikula, a U.S. Army veteran who’s fallen on some hard times.
Mikula served 10 years between active duty and reserves from 2002-2011, including a tour in Iraq. He has a five-year-old daughter who he supports.
“This is an opportunity through our Labor Management Cooperative Committee, which is the IBEW-NECA team, to be able to give back a little bit to the community and our veterans,” said Bill Booth, IBEW Local 64 president. “We’ve selected the veterans’ groups over the last couple years and it’s an opportunity to thank them for their service to this country.”