In the midst of moving to their new Union Hall, (from the bottoms of the Missouri River to Earth City), Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562 still found time to organize and send out an amazing group of 200 member volunteers for its annual “Heat’s On” program to make sure needy families, the elderly and Local 562 retirees are safe and ready for winter.
Journeymen and apprentices woke at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning to give their time and skills to help people who might otherwise go without heat for the winter.
Now, in its 32nd year, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562 and the Mechanical Contractors Association has serviced more than 11,000 homes, free of charge through the “Heat’s On” program, making sure needy families, the elderly and Local 562 retirees are safe and ready for cold winter months.
Each home receives a 34-point inspection covering the furnace, flue and chimney. The service techs repair anything they can at the time of the visit, and with bigger situations, return at a later date.
Local 562 Business Manager John O’Mara said the members who volunteer enjoy helping each year.
“They say it’s nice to get out and feel like you’re making a difference in the community, and fun to talk to some of the retirees they meet for the first time,” O’Mara said. “Some of these people we help may be in a dangerous situation or may have no heat. Keeping these homes safe, keeps our communities safer. It’s all about union neighbors helping the community.”
O’Mara thanked Kristy Stephens, executive director of the Mechanical Contractors Association, and Local 562’s business partner suppliers who donated to the day’s event.
Since its inception in 1986, nearly 8,000 Local 562 volunteers and business partner suppliers have contributed more than $6 million in labor and materials through the “Heat’s On” program to ensure safety and comfort of those in need.