Houston and Gulf Coast-area Union Pacific employees swapped out their conductor caps for Santa hats at their annual Toys for Tots drive.
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To add to the festivities, UP Locomotive No. 1943 "The Spirit" delivered the boxes of toys to the United States Marines and Texas National Guard at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base earlier this month.
Union Pacific Locomotive Engineer Joe Mikulski, who’s also the Houston UPVETS chapter president, said he knew it was more important than ever this year to help local communities. UPVETS is a UP Employee Resource Group (ERG) committed to UP service men and women.
"The entire nation is experiencing a pandemic, our community is no exception," he said. "The Houston area has been severely impacted by COVID-19 and many families have suffered. Our chapter leadership decided that with help from Union Pacific along with proper planning, motivation and dedication, we could make a big difference this holiday season."
Other Union Pacific ERGs involved in this year’s toy drive included the Black Employee Network (BEN), Latino Employee Network (LEN) and Council on Native American Heritage (CONAH). The four groups collected nearly 15,000 toys, and Union Pacific made a $10,000 donation to support this year's drive. After this year’s success, the railroaders are setting their sights for an even bigger contribution next year.