Lodge 811 continues longstanding commitment to community service with toy drive for pediatric cancer patients

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The IAM Local 811 Women’s Committee recently dropped off a large toy donation from its latest toy drive project for Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, TX.

In previous years, the local has donated any type of toy to all children in the hospital, but this time the committee chose to collect specific toys for bedridden pediatric patients with cancer: puzzles, word games, books and portable electronic devices.

IAM Local 811 Secretary-Treasurer Sarah Monderoy Garcia has been on the Women’s Committee since 2013. She, Lodge 811 Vice President Nelson Yanes, Administrator Adrienne Coleman, Charlotte Lazard and Evelita Everitt form the 811 Women’s Committee, which continually collects donations for various organizations.

“We always do some type of ride, whether it’s toiletries, clothes or toys. We like to target different areas of need in the community,” Garcia said.

The committee encouraged members to bring donations to union meetings and advertised with flyers on bulletin boards in the Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) rest room where members of the IAM Local 811 work for United Airlines as ramp service employees, ground staff, and store equipment. specialists (members who work side-by-side with mechanics to supply aircraft parts).

The committee strategically decides to hold its toy drives in the summer, the “off season”, because hospitals usually receive an abundance of toy donations during the holidays, but run out and new patients arrive in the summer.

“The hospital said our timing for the toy donation was like a breath of fresh air,” Garcia said.

In 2013, the Women’s Committee began with small fundraisers, such as hot dog sales, to help members who were going through difficult times. Their service to the whole community grew from there.

Now, between toy drives, the committee is collecting donations of toiletries for women’s shelters and clothing for those in need, and in July they will partner with sister lodge at 811, IAM Local 2198, to hold their annual “United Against Human Trafficking” seminar where they educate co-workers, community members, and families about human tracking, because as a major metropolitan city, Houston is a hotspot for human trafficking.

“As airport workers dealing with the traveling public, members of our profession should be aware of the signs of human trafficking,” Garcia said. “We want men and families to attend the event, all parents and adult children. Everyone should be able to know the signs. Knowledge is power. It is important to disseminate this information; it’s heavier but still necessary.

During Heart Health Awareness Month (February), the committee hosts a day-long event at Union Hall to promote healthy living and educate people about heart disease and how heart attacks affect women differently.

“The 811 Women’s Committee always impresses me,” said Richard Johnsen, general vice president of the IAM Air-Transport Territory. “Their attitude to give back as union members and their innovative thinking about community service is admirable; they are an example for all of us.

“The Local 811 Women’s Committee, like so many IAM women’s committees, has a strong presence in its local and community,” said IAM General Secretary-Treasurer Dora Cervantes. who started with the union as a member of Local 2198. “These committees show the power of women in work and communities. I am incredibly proud of 811’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness of IAM in the community and engage members for the good of the community.


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