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Union trades collaborate to benefit area children

Don Hartney, L-29, left, gives Toys for Tots representative Tony Gatro a check for over $1,200.

Toy drive nets over $1,200 and nearly 600 toys

IN A MULTI-CRAFT effort to make the holidays merry for those less fortunate, Boilermakers from Local 29 (Boston) spearheaded a Toys for Tots campaign at the O’Connor Corporation’s Salem Harbor Project jobsite in Salem, Massachusetts, last December. In addition to the Boilermakers, the IBEW, UBC, UA and LiUNA also collaborated in the holiday effort. The O’Connor Corporation offered their support of the month-long donation drive as well.

Every morning at 5:30, L-29’s Gary Fess and Don Harteny stood ready to receive donations at the collection box, built by the carpenters and scaffolding workers. The electricians also collected toys and, at the end of the drive, provided a truck to help transport the toys when the Toys for Tots trailer proved too small. Spouses also participated by painting a sign and shopping for toys.

The holiday campaign raised over $1,200 and amassed nearly 600 toys.

“I was surprised at the number of toys collected,” said L-29 BM-ST Chuck Hancock. “Unions give back a lot to the community, and it’s always nice when everybody can come together.”