Union electrical workers and contractors have raised more than $100,000 since 2000 for patients staying at Mott over the holidays
(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) — Members from IBEW 252 and NECA Michigan Chapter, South Central Division on Friday donated $10,100 in Meijer gift cards to children staying at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital over the Christmas holiday.
This year’s donation puts the group’s total raised since the charity began at $107,500. The $25 gift cards -- 404 of them in all -- will be delivered by staff to Mott pediatric patients on Christmas Eve.
Loy said she asked her IBEW 252 brothers and sisters to pitch in with spare change, and they responded with much more. Now, donations are collected at the union hall and at job sites, and workers from other trades sometimes pitch in as well.
“It started out as a little idea for stocking stuffers in 2000, and it turned into $10,100 this year and $107,500 in 19 years,” Loy said. “Times are tough for these families and, for many of the kids, these cards are the only gifts they get. I’m just glad we can help give them a Christmas, too.”
Meredith Irvine, a music therapist at Mott, said the gift cards also have an impact on the staff who get to deliver them.
“These gift cards bring our staff together. We get to see the smiles of giving these gift cards to patients and families at such a difficult time to be in a place that’s not your home,” Irvine said.
Irvine recounted how she was personally impacted by a young patient’s generosity after receiving a card.
“She had been very concerned about how she was going to buy a gift for her new baby sister,” Irvine said. “When she opened the card, she looked right at her mom and said, ‘Please go buy my baby sister her first Christmas present from me.’ It touched all of us who witnessed it.”
Mott Child & Family Life Department Administrative Director Lindsay K. Heering thanked IBEW 252 and NECA for their donations, saying many patients have been in the hospital for weeks, and it’s hard not being home for the holidays.
“We are incredibly grateful for IBEW 252 and NECA’s generous donation of gift cards for every patient in our care,” Heering said. “Gift cards give choices for our children and teens, who really lose their sense of control when they are in the hospital.”