This time of year in the midst of frantic holiday shopping and attending Christmas get-togethers with friends and family, we sometimes forget to think about those with a much different perspective of the holidays.
Not the union electricians at IBEW Local 573 in Warren. They spent the month of December purchasing and assembling bicycles to donate to Trumbull County Children Services. It’s been an annual tradition.
“Our members are true family men and women at heart. And it weighs on us that so many kids right here in our community don’t get to experience what many of us consider a traditional Christmas with family and gifts and Santa,” said Mark Phillips, IBEW Local 573 President.
For children in need of loving homes
Trumbull County Children’s Services has more than 100 children in foster homes or in their direct care. Many cases involve removing children from abusive or neglectful situations with just the clothes on their backs.
“We’re lucky to be chosen to give to our kids because there’s a need … and for a lot of kids, this IS their Christmas,” said Michelle Schmader, Community Liaison. “Trumbull County steps up when there’s a need.”
For 16 boys and girls aged 7 to 9 in Children Services’ care, they’ll each receive a new bicycle from the union membership. Phillips and Business Manager Todd Ambrose personally delivered them a week before Christmas.
“It’s heartwarming to see how appreciative the staff was to receive these bikes,” Ambrose said. “The stories about the situation many of these children are in, however, is difficult to hear. We’re fortunate to be in a position to help in a small way, and hopefully next year we can do even more.”
IBEW Local 573 is part of NECA-IBEW Electricians, an association of union locals in Warren and Youngstown (IBEW Local 64), along with signatory electrical contractors in Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties.
To donate to Trumbull County Children Services, click here.