Fire Truck for Union Beach, N.J.
Many employees answered the call when the director of Illinois Emergency Management recently asked for help on a special project. He requested that CSX arrange for an in-kind move of a fire truck from a Chicago suburb to a New Jersey town whose entire fleet of fire trucks was wiped out by Hurricane Sandy. Through planning and coordination by several departments, the fire truck was loaded on a train at CSXT’s Barr Yard. It arrived in New Jersey in time for Christmas.
Community Holiday Celebration
For the seventh year, members of the Chicago Inclusion Group, Operations, Regional Development, and Intermodal Terminals held a celebration with food, gifts and a visit from “Santa” (Signal Maintainer Darryl Jackson) for members of an economically challenged community near the 59th Street Intermodal Terminal. The event on December 14 was a big success, drawing hundreds of people from the community. Several area social service agencies and churches also pitched in for this annual get-together.
“It was such a joy to see the faces of the children waiting in line to see Santa,” said Misty Porter, Mechanical support clerk-Chicago Division and chair of the Chicago Inclusion Group. “This was an amazing experience for all who participated. We had the support from a great team of people, and I am thankful for them. This was such a wonderful event and I will definitely be there next year.”
The Huntington Inclusion Council held its annual New Year’s Eve party at the Huntington City Mission. The employees joined with volunteers from an area church to throw a pizza party to feed the homeless and people seeking temporary shelter at the mission. About 100 people attended the event. Along with the church, they collected clothing and personal grooming supplies for the attendees, and provided blankets, gloves, hats and toys for the children.
Steve Crable, vice president, and Lorie Rogan, administrative assistant, coordinated the department-wide initiative to provide for youngsters housed at the Children’s Home Society in Jacksonville. It’s the second year they’ve raised funds and shopped for clothing and toys for the list of youngsters provided by the Society. Together, they raised at least $2,500 in donated toys and cash.
“The age of children we helped this year ranged from 18 months to 17 years old,” Lorie explained. “We asked to help 12 children and we were able to fulfill all their wish list items. In some cases, all the kids wanted were shoes and clothes.”
For the past four years, the CSX Retiree Steering Committee has been involved in an area poinsettia give-away program. The 14 members of the committee, including family members, gathered at the CSX headquarters building when the lobby’s soaring “tree” made of live poinsettia plants was disassembled in late December. They loaded the poinsettias and then fanned out across the city for deliveries to local charities. It’s a gift that puts a smile on many faces, Cliff Redmon, a Steering Committee member, says.
The retirees also raised $8,270 this year benefitting Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville to help fund an outdoor therapy garden for the children. The garden will help them escape for a while from their illnesses and just be kids again. A recognition item will be placed in the garden expressing appreciation to CSX retirees for the gift.
Children’s Christmas Party
Melissa Westerman, AVP-capital plan and business risk management, is a member of the board of directors for this annual Jacksonville event, and she along with a group of volunteers from the Controller’s Group and Customer Service took part in turning the Prime Osborn Convention Center into a Christmas wonderland and handing out toys to the children on their special day.
Thousands of area children and their parents typically attend, and each child is permitted to choose three toys from booths set up at the convention center. In addition, more than 750 new bicycles and scooters were randomly distributed to lucky kids in the crowd. Pat Wright, general clerk-revenue accounting, of the Southpoint Inclusion Group has organized groups of CSX Southpoint volunteers for this toy give-away for 12 years.