3 MAPE locals make holidays bright
What happens when three locals, carloads of gifts and 437 pairs of socks come together? Locals 301, 801 and 1101 have gotten into the holiday spirit early this year and their efforts will put smiles on hundreds of faces of those living in the Twin Cities.
Local 1101 Vice President Halie Rostberg again organized the local’s donation drive to collect gifts for isolated seniors. Members collected several carloads of blankets, sheets, slippers, coats, puzzle books and other items for Gifts for Seniors. The organization coordinates donated gifts and visits to isolated seniors, many living alone and without family members and friends in the metropolitan area.
Photo at right: (L-R: Region 11 Director Jessica Raptis presents a coat and scarf to Gifts for Seniors' Mary Nelson)
“The staff and volunteers were so appreciative when we dropped off the gifts – the first thing they said was ‘We need the sheets!’ A lot of these gifts are more than a Christmas gift – they’re also necessities,” Jessica Raptis, Region 11 Director and Dept. of Corrections senior program administrator, said. “It’s nice to see everyone in 1101 join together and give; it’s a busy time with people shopping for their families and it was good to see people thinking of others, too.”
Local 1101’s Dept. of Corrections members set up drop boxes for both seniors and Toys for Tots.
For the third year, Locals 301 and 801 joined together to spread holiday cheer at the Listening House in St. Paul. Listening House is a sanctuary from the streets, where practical assistance, counsel and a friendly ear are offered to people who are homeless, disadvantaged or lonely.
“I like the idea of how when we pool our efforts, we can do more good and it was also an opportunity to get to know members from other locals,” Local 301 Treasurer Mark Snyder, a compliance officer at the Pollution Control Agency, said.
Photo at left: Results of Locals 301 and 801's donation drive to the Listening House
Snyder said a dozen people collected donations and members contributed $300 and the local matched it. “I encouraged that match because it seemed to be successful for other nonprofits. I hope we do it again next year – I’ve kept the match donation line in the budget,” Snyder added.
Dept. of Transportation (MnDOT) program specialist Cheryl Hunstock was one of the organizers for Local 801’s holiday gift drive. Partnering with the Highway Federal Credit Union, the local collected hundreds of dollars and 437 pairs of socks for those visiting Listening House. “Every little bit makes a difference for people in need. The donation drive was organized by our local but employees throughout MnDOT contributed as well. If we can make someone else’s holiday a little nicer, that is all the thanks we need,” Hunstock said.