Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562, Glaziers Local 513 donate services to repair 15 low-income homes

28th year of Local 562 partnership with Rebuilding Together St. Louis


Ardell McMorris has lived in her home for 63 years. She and her late husband raised two children there, but since his death 21 years ago, it’s been hard for her to keep up.

Her hot water heater was unreliable. She had one working shower in the house, but it only got hot water. Her son has helped where he can, but the needed repairs to the home were piling up and Mrs. McMorris, 96, was unable to pay for professional repairs.

Step in Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 and Rebuilding Together St. Louis.

Some 125 Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 journeymen, apprentices and retires fanned out across St. Louis City and County April 29 for Rebuilding Day, donating their time and labor to help low-income elderly homeowners, veterans and disabled persons with needed plumbing and repairs. They were joined by volunteers from Glaziers Local 513, who took care of window repairs at some of the homes, and an army of Rebuilding Together volunteers who provided for other repairs and maintenance needs as well as yard work. In the case of Mrs. McMorris, they also weeded her garden beds and planted this year’s vegetable garden.

“I love to garden,” Mrs. McMorris said. “But some of them are so young, I don’t know if they know how to plant,” she joked.

Local 562 Business Manager John O’Mara praised his members for volunteering their time and skills to help those most in need.

“Not everybody gets a paycheck every week, not everybody has a savings account, not everybody can keep their home in a fashion that we really want,” O’Mara said. “There is nothing better than to do what we do the best, to go into somebody’s home and do a professional job. It’s great to get paid for it, but there’s sometimes that we need to help those that can’t help themselves with the finances.

“These are people that have lived without hot water, that have lived without water sometimes, lived without a shower, didn’t have a bathroom that works for them,” O’Mara said.

“These aren’t people that woke up one day and said, you know what, I don’t want to go to work, I just want to let my house go. These are people who have struggled and tried hard to stay in their homes.”

Local 562 Business Representative and Rebuilding Coordinator Mark Morgan said the union has partnered with Rebuilding Together since in 1996, when the annual repair program was called Christmas in April.

“We missed 2020 and 2021 because of Covid, so it’s nice to get back out there and help our community,” Morgan said. “The need out there never seems to slow down. There’s always a need for our services. During Covid they talked about essential workers, and our job is essential.”

Rebuilding Together St. Louis has provided free home repairs in the St. Louis area for 30 years, focusing on projects that improve homeowners’ safety, health, and independence.

“We are grateful to Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 and Glaziers Local 513’s dedication to helping Rebuilding Together improve safety and living conditions for the residents we serve,” said Elaine Powers, executive director, Rebuilding Together St. Louis. “They are coming in and donating their time and their resources to help us make houses safer and healthier, and helping older folks be more independent in their houses.

The IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership, comprised of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local No. 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) donated services and materials for its own repair blitz on April 22.

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