At the July 28 WMATA Board meeting, Metro Center Station Manager Laverne Niles was recognized by the General Manager Paul Weidefeld and the Board of Directors. On July 7, 2016, Ms. Niles was on duty when a customer had a medical emergency. She called 911, made sure the customer was comfortable, kept a close eye on his condition, and monitored the arrival of first responders. As the emergency medical workers transported the customer out of the station, Ms. Niles accompanied him to the ambulance. The customer later wrote, “Hers was one of the last faces I saw, offering me her best wishes, before I was placed in the ambulance.” We thank Ms. Niles for taking the customer’s call for help seriously and for showing compassion for his well-being.
The #TransitLivesMatter book bag giveaway was held last Saturday at Berry Farms by ATU Local 689. Among those who participated were First Vice President CarrollThomas, Shepherd Parkway bus operators and plant maintenance mechanics. 2,000 book bags were made available to students in the Berry Farms area as they return to school. We Make It Work!
Local 689 member Dereke W. Jones wants to give people in the District a “hand up,” but he doesn’t call it a “hand out.” Whether it’s feeding the area’s homeless, donating clothes, or even furniture, Dereke, through his organization “Hands Out, Hands Up,” is anxious to help those who are in need.
Dereke says that because of the blessings he has been privileged to receive, he will always be anxious to help those in need. That dedication is why he and friend Tammy Woody, the motorcycle club Touch of Class of Coral Hills, and others enjoy getting together and riding around D.C., including to Franklin Square, to give people in need food and other items.
When asked why he’s been dedicated to doing this work for the last four years, Dereke says, “I don’t take things for granted. We’re only a paycheck away from being there ourselves.”
Dereke W. Jones, people like you make D.C. great!
Two years ago Local 689 member Tiana Witherspoon decided she was going to do more than just shake her head about the homeless problem in DC and get involved in making a difference.
Tiana, along with some family members and co-workers, decided to come together to start the Betta Dayz Organization. The organization goes go out once a month to feed the homeless in Franklin Square in Northwest DC.
Currently, the group goes out the second Sunday of every month to Franklin Square. They have given out turkeys for Thanksgiving, sponsored children in need for Christmas, and put together care packages for the city’s homeless; all with money out of their own pockets. Local 689 members Russell Archie, Shed Dawson, and Craig Dudley are also a part of the organization.
Local 689 salutes Tiana and the Betta Dayz Organization for what they do for people in need in the District! For more information on the Betta Dayz Organization, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Derrick Bey is a general equipment AA mechanic, but when he’s not working hard for Metro, he’s working hard as the founder of the Redefine Your Mind Project, an organization that implements character development strategies for incarcerated young people between 12 and 18 years old. Bey, who has run the organization for the last two years, instructs young people on yoga and meditation as well as teaching health and wellness with vegan and plant based diets.
At any given time you can find Derrick instructing a dozen or more young people. Derrick hopes to inspire them by telling them about his time as a troublesome teenager, and how he changed his life through yoga and veganism.
Asked why he does the work he does, Bey says, “I want to reach the ones who are deemed incorrigible and destined for a life of crime.”
Bey says introducing these new strategies, like breathing techniques for anger management, isn’t easy. But putting in the work shows the young people that they are worth it. Bey does work with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, the Free Minds Book Club, DC Department of Young and Rehabilitation Services and the Tri-County Youth Services Bureau.
Derrick Bey thank you for the great community work you do!
From the Spring 2016 "689 Connector":
A person was struck by a Metro train at the L'Enfant Plaza station on Friday, February 26, 2016 and some Metro riders experienced delays on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines.
Surveillance video showed the person who was on the tracks intentionally fell in a failed suicide attempt. Thanks to Local 689 member Zuri Tesheira, a AA road mechanic leadman, the customer who jumped on to the tracks was safely delivered to paramedics after the incident.
Tesheira was notified on radio that an unauthorized person had come on to the tracks a little after 6:00 PM on that Friday. Zuri went down to inspect and found a man with soot on his face, a missing left foot and a right foot mangled, who was hysterical and praying. Zuri stayed with him for about five minutes waiting for the fire department to arrive.
When asked about the incident and how he felt about potentially saving the man’s life, Zuri said, “It was a humbling experience. You just never know what someone else is dealing with.”
Bravo to Zuri Tesheira for going the extra mile!