Salvation Army Maj. Elijah Kahn stood in the Paint Shop cafeteria at the General Motors Complex in Lordstown on Thursday surrounded by a mound of games, balls, toys and a row of more than a dozen shiny new bicycles.
''We are overwhelmed,'' Kahn said. ''This is the most donations we have received this year by any organization.''
It was the 10th year that the Paint Shop and United Auto Workers Local 1112 worked together to share their holiday cheer with needy children.And it just one of several giving events that various parts of the plant and its workers do each holiday season. In addition to the gifts, workers raised $4,700 in cash that also was presented Thursday to the Salvation Army.
"This is always a great day for us,'' said Paint Shop Manager Scott Negley. ''Building cars takes team work and that is how we succeed. This endeavor is no different.''
Negley said the gifts will go to 100 needy children in the area. In addition, the paint shop "adopted" three needy families.
UAW Local 1112 President Glenn Johnson said it was an honor to work with the Salvation Army.
Salvation Army Maj. Valerie Kahn shares her gratitude for donations from the Paint Shop at the General Motors Complex in Lordstown. Donations included toys, bicycles and $4,700 in cash raised at the plant over the past month for needy families. PHOTO BY R. MICHAEL SEMPLE
''It's the team members that make this work,'' Johnson said. ''This membership and this leadership team always step up.''
The gifts will be distributed to families that pre-registered in October, said Mahoning County Salvation Army Maj. Valerie Kahn. Overall the Mahoning County Salvation Army will provide gifts this Christmas to more than 2,000 needy children.
Following the presentation, union members and plant management worked together to load the toys and bikes into a large box truck backed up outside the paint shop.
''You are those that make things happen,'' Elijah Kahn said. ''You have given so kids in need can have toys this Christmas.''