The Young Machinists group at Machinists Local Lodge 63 helped brighten Christmas this year for 128 teen-age foster kids in East Multnomah County. The group was organized two years ago to get members ages 35 and under more involved with their union. The group is comprised primarily of members employed at Boeing Co.
Dubbed “Foster Care Christmas,” the event was organized by Scott and Beth Lacey and Local 63 President John Kleiboeker. The Young Machinists coordinate with caseworkers at the Gresham Branch of the Oregon Department of Human Services to compile a list of “needs” and “wants” specific to the foster teens in their care. The Young Machinists then go out and buy presents for the teens, and include stockings filled with personal hygiene items and pencils, pens, and stickers with the IAM logo.
On Dec. 14, more than a dozen Machinists, including District W 24 Directing Business Representative Noel Willet wrapped all the gifts, along with some of their family members. Then, over the next 10 days caseworkers delivered the packages to their clients.
Money for “Foster Care Christmas” was raised through union donations, a GoFundMe page, and Christmas tree sales. The Laceys sold 200 trees at their home in Sandy. The trees were donated by local Christmas tree farmer.