ATU Local 1764 members at the Fairfax Connector are continuing their annual tradition of collecting toys and jackets for needy children in the area, while IATSE 22 is conducting a clothing drive to benefit the victims of the Flower Branch apartment explosion. “Hundreds of children from struggling families have been given new jackets and toys around the holidays because of the efforts and generous contributions of ATU members,” reports ATU’s John Ertl. "People are always generous and giving in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy," adds IATSE 22's Paul Kent. "But as time goes on, the sense of urgency tends to fade. These people still need our help, especially in the face of the approaching winter." The Metro Council's Community Services Agency is also accepting donations for their annual holiday basket project; click here for details. "Other locals conducting similar holiday giving drives are encouraged to let us know so we can spread the word," says CSA Executive Director Kathleen McKirchy: [email protected] photo: ATU 1764 Steward Mike Taylor plays the role of Santa Claus each year in the Fairfax Connector break room to gather donations from members of the union.