Community Service Involvement
You Must Be The Change You Want To See In The World
The Michigan Mechanical Contractors Association's local associations continue their tireless efforts toward making our communities better places to live. We see this as a major part of the mission of our organizations. In the following pages we have outlined a number of the programs that our local associations have become involved in. The programs provide much needed assistance for the neighborhood, while they also bring the members of the local associations and their employees and UA Locals together. These programs enable them to provide the resources for the communities that they so desperately need.
Christmas Programs Assist the Needy At This Special Time
Secret Santa's Provide "The Best Christmas Ever"
The PMC has participated for a number of years in the Secret Santa Program through the local Family Independence Agencies.Members of the office shopped for presents for specific age groups and the gifts were available for parents to come and pick from at the local agencies. This year, we were aware of a very special family that was having problems making Christmas the experience they wanted due to limited financial resources. So, we made the decision to adopt them. The family has adopted six children and has two foster children. We were more than happy to help Santa along with such a large number to provide for.
Everyone took turns doing shopping for the various children. With four of the children being teenagers, it gave a whole new meaning to "living the teenage mind" to get the children what they wanted. When friends of the staff learned about our efforts, some even assisted by donating presents. The time seems to fly, when you know that you are making a child's Christmas something special.
After the holiday, we received a number of pictures and the most heartfelt thank-you note we have ever received. "The kids were so thrilled and told us over and over that this was the best Christmas they had ever had...In this day and age, things like total strangers wanting to get involved in helping kids they don't even know, doesn't happen very often. To think that we have never even met you and that you were willing to do this for us means so much." Secret Santa programs are a great opportunity to help those less fortunate, and easy to become involved in. Think about trying it for yourself this year.
Helping Local Troops
In an effort to assist the local Girl Scouts with activities and ease the costs to parents, the PMC sponsors two Brownie Troops. Financial contributions and contributions of supplies and services are made. Anything that we can do to assist with the training of young girls to be tomorrow's leaders will be helpful to not only the community at large, but the construction industry in the long run.
Shower Facility at Camp Linden
For the past year, the PMC and UA Local 190 have been participating with a number of organizations in an effort to build new shower facilities at the Girl Scouts' Camp Linden (pictured left in popsicle sticks). The effort is being spearheaded through the Michigan Associated General Contractors Association, by Richard Brunvard, the AGC's Assistant Executive Vice President. Involving the industry in this volunteer effort began with a contact from Roger Lane at Detroit Edison, who sits on the Board of the Huron Valley Girl Scouts Council. At his request a number of associations became involved in the project that is scheduled to be completed for use this summer (groundbreaking event above).
Warm the Children
This past year, the members of the PMC staff decided to forego any presents for one another, to take the money normally spent on birthdays and holidays and donate it to a new charity. The charity chosen was "Warm The Children". Established through the Ann Arbor News, it was a program that ran in cooperation with Meijers and Sears. The program provided winter coats for 1,500 children. The stores provided the vouchers for the coats to be purchased at a greatly reduced rate. Then children were selected through various methods and the money donated went for their purchase.
PMC and UA Local 190 Increase Sponsorship of Magic Ride
Ferris State Chapter Joins In
The Greater Michigan Plumbing & Mechanical Contractors and UA Local 190 continue their strong assistance with Magic Ride, and all programs that work to help children. Both organizations advanced their support of the Magic Ride to Prime Sponsors. This makes the Greater Michigan plumbing and mechanical industry two of the four major sponsors of the event. Magic Ride is a bike-a-thon to help prevent child abuse.The Magic Ride was organized in 1980 by now-Congresswoman Debbie Stabenow with the help of Earwin "Magic" Johnson. It has become one of the nation's most successful fundraisers for child abuse prevention with nearly 1,000 bicyclists from across the state participating. Money raised by riders, through their pledges, goes to child abuse prevention programs in the counties where the riders live.
Other contributions go to the Children's Trust Fund, which distributes funds to local programs throughout the state for the prevention of abuse and neglect.
This year our participation also increased in the program as greater MI MSCA's Student Chapter at Ferris State University also participated. Brad Fredricks rode the 30 mile route, while Jacy Calmeyn rode five miles, and Lily and Diane Calmeyn went 10 miles.
This ride is one of the many community service projects undertaken jointly by PMC and UA Local 190 - Plumbers/Pipe Fitters/Service Technicians/Gas Distribution. Both organizations are tremendously committed to making their area a better place to live, particularly for children.
Movie Tickets for Families
Along with helping Santa for the children, we sponsored evenings out for foster families and families with children who would receive little during the holiday season.
Those participating were given gift certificates for passes to the local theatre and for treats when they got there. It gave the families the opportunity to go out together and enjoy a special time as one.
Project HEAT'S ON
Ninth Year of Greater MI PMC/MSCA and UA 190 Taking Care of the Elderly
Project HEAT'S ON
Project HEAT'S ON (Handicapped and Elderly Assistance to Service Our Neighbors), co-sponsored by the Greater Michigan Plumbing & Mechanical Contractors Association, Inc., (PMC) , and UA Local 190, Plumbers/Pipe Fitters/Service Technicians/Gas Distribution, was a resounding success.
In its ninth year in Washtenaw County, HEAT'S ON continues to be a community service project that not only provides free safety inspections andminor repairs of heating systems, but also helps to ensure the homeowner's safety with new smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
At a kick-off breakfast hosted by Local 190 and the PMC, volunteers were given jackets to identify them as Project HEAT'S ON participants. Then, service technicians were teamed with apprentices and other volunteers ready to spend their Saturday meeting the needs of the community.
The program cleaned and checked 65 furnaces along with installing Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Smoke Detectors. After the work of the day was done, everybody came back for lunch. It also gave the volunteers time for fellowship. Catching up with your friends is always important.
Members of the Greater Michigan MSCA's Student Chapter at Ferris State University had a contingent of five at the program, pictured left. This is the second year they have participated.
This year, we again ran into the need to replace furnaces, but, if we have to shut-down a furnace, our commitment is to always make sure the homeowner's furnace is up and running again.
Assisting Elderly In Need
One of the intricacies to running the HEAT'S ON Project is the follow-up work that comes after the day. This year, we had to replace three furnaces. The replacements take a number of different configurations including assistance from the Family Independence Living departments, to the need for the Association to pay for the replacement.
The most difficult replacement this year was a project that involved enormous effort on the part of the apprentices who were working on the project under difficult conditions. The homeowner was very sick and had a furnace that he had begun replacing himself before he became ill. This necessitated a totally new installation, new ductwork, and a new furnace. The installation was complicated by the unbelievably small crawl space the apprentices had to work in to put in the new ductwork.
One of the ongoing programs that we help with each year is the "Friends In Deed" Bed Drive that is held annually around Christmas time. The drive provides new beds for family members. Friends In Deed is a program we first became involved in through Mary Jean Zill, wife of Board Chairman Lloyd Zill, who was a long-time volunteer at the organization.
School Supplies for Kids
Patterned after the "Toys for Tots" Campaign, the PMC has begun a "School Supplies for Kids" campaign. Contractors and the Association donate extra supplies that they aren't using, old stationery, out-of-date cards, extra notebooks, etc. They also donate gift certificates from local office supply stores for teachers to buy the necessary supplies that they need for school. It's a great way for the students to begin to see the name of the construction companies on a regular basis, and begin to think more about the industry.
Make A Wish Foundation
This was our first year working with the Make A Wish Foundation, and it began by chance. The PMC sponsors a day at the Air Show at Willow Run Airport. While at the practice session, preparing the tents for the next day's activities, we saw a number of children with the Make A Wish Foundation in the next booth. The children were having a great time, and were quite taken with a number of the decorations that we had for our area. To give the children a souvenir of the day's activities, we sent along 65 Blue Angel models and Space Shuttle models.
We are also becoming involved in working with the foundation to help make the wishes of local children possible. It is a wonderful experience to help a sick child have a happy day.
Pinckney Train Depot Renovation
The PMC is currently supporting the renovation of the Pinckney Depot. Built by Grand Truck Western Railroad Line, this building has served Pinckney as a freight shed, depot, home to various businesses and a Church. Currently owned by the Michigan DNR and MDOT, this building sits boarded up and neglected on the edge of a village. A Federal Grant has been secured to restore the building and grounds to provide a comfort station, Lakelands Trail trailhead, recreation area, and historic informational facility with emphasis on how transportation helped spur the growth of the Pinckney, Lakeland and Hamburg areas.
To be able to claim this Grant, the local community is raising 25% matching funds. Different donation levels are available with recognition being planned in the form of a sign depicting a train to be on display at the Depot. The Greater Michigan PMC has made a donation at the highest level -- the Locomotive level, to help the train pull out of the station as quickly as possible.