St. James, MO – IAM H.E.L.P.S. in the Community, the Machinists District 9 community service organization, paid a visit to the St. James Veterans Home Aug. 24 with food, soda, personal care items and other gifts to show their love and support for local veterans.
Scott Hargis, chairman of IAM H.E.L.P.S., the IAM District 9 community service organization and president of Machinists Automotive Lodge 777, reached out to Lorie Steen, assistant administrator of the home and Dirk Dunkle, supervisor of volunteer services, with a pair of simple questions: “What do you need? How can we help?”
H.E.L.P.S. stands for Honoring, Engaging, Lifting, Providing and Servicing. And last week’s visit to the Veterans’ Home did all of that and more.
Hargis and members of the community service committee spent June and July collecting items and money to fulfill the veterans’ and home’s wish list, including soda (especially root beer), single-serve snack cakes, pop tarts, freezer pops, single-serve snacks, popcorn, bird seed, postage stamps, 3-in-1 body wash, cake and brownie mixes, puzzle books and adult coloring books.
On Aug. 24, volunteers from the IAM H.E.L.P.S., District 9 staff and retirees, the IAM Midwest Territory office and local lodge officers and retirees made the trek to the Veterans home in St. James, Mo., to deliver the donations and messages of support for the veterans.
With COVID-19 restrictions in place, they couldn’t visit with the veterans face-to-face, so they stacked the donations on tables outside the home, where veterans could see them as they watched from inside.
And, though they weren’t able to shake hands with the veterans, they were able to touch their hearts, holding up signs and touch hands through the window glass.
It was an overwhelming success and another example of the good Machinists District 9 members and retirees and union members do for their communities.