This edition of the 141 Member Spotlight features three of our District 141 Community Service leaders so we can learn about some of the important work they are doing. The video features Noelle Sakamoto from Local Lodge 1781 in Burlingame, California, Debbie Inverno from Local Lodge 914 in Newark, New Jersey, and Tamara Sass from Local Lodge 1885 in Portland, Oregon. 

141 Member Spotlight: Community Service in Action

Apr 20, 2021

As members of the Machinists Union, we are called to expand our footprint beyond the workplace and engage with the communities we call home. Finding these intersections between work and home is a vital part of creating modern unions that are more in touch with the needs of real people, according to IAMAW District 141 Community Service Director Cristina Odoardi.

This edition of the 141 Member Spotlight features three of our District 141 Community Service leaders so we can learn about some of the important work they are doing. The video features Noelle Sakamoto from Local Lodge 1781 in Burlingame, California, Debbie Inverno from Local Lodge 914 in Newark, New Jersey, and Tamara Sass from Local Lodge 1885 in Portland, Oregon. 

The Community Service Chairs describe the challenges they faced in the past year, and how they have continued to work safely to address the diverse needs in their areas. Local 1781 runs a food distribution program twice a month in partnership with other unions in the Bay Area to help hundreds of families experiencing food insecurity. They have organized supplies in a shelter for victims of domestic violence and are planning an event to recognize health care workers for their heroic work in the past year. In Newark, Local 914 members regularly contribute to a food pantry and soup kitchen and provide monthly support for a youth mentoring program. In Portland, committee members collected donations to benefit a women and children’s shelter and to purchase gift cards for troops traveling through the airport during the holidays. Local 1885 alternates their drives to benefit food banks in Oregon and Washington since their members live in both states.     

Cristina Odoardi joins the conversation and explains the huge negative impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the Machinists Union’s favorite charity, Guide Dogs of America and Tender Loving Canines. Dozens of events have been canceled due to restrictions on large gatherings of people to avoid spreading the virus. She and Dave urge members to continue to support the work of GDA as we look forward to events scheduled for later this year as COVID restrictions are relaxed. 

Any union member who wants to work to spread goodwill in their community should contact Director Cristina Odoardi or reach out to their local president, AGC, or community service committee chair. She summarizes other community service activities that have taken place at different local lodges around the country, and she stressed how important it is to just do something. “Every area is different, but any small gesture of kindness to give back to the community helps everyone,” said Odoardi. “There’s nothing too small, and together we can make a difference.”