Dearing Employees Donate Nearly $10K to Youngstown Blue Coats

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Employees at Dearing Compressor and Pump Co. do not just celebrate the holidays – they use their annual Christmas party as an opportunity to give back to others.

On Wednesday, the company leadership and employees, including several veterans among them, gave nearly $10,000 raised through an auction at the party to Youngstown Blue Coats.

Providing a warm coat, boots, socks, hats and gloves to the homeless, especially focusing on homeless military veterans, Youngstown Blue Coats, based in Hubbard, delivers help to 11 counties in Ohio and Pennsylvania using its blue school bus, which is named Alexander J. Luke in honor of a World War II hero and Silver Star recipient.

Patty Summers, Youngstown Blue Coats founder and CEO, was among those from the organization who came to Dearing on Wednesday to accept the donation.

“We just honor our veterans every day and, unfortunately, we find so many of them out, homeless and on the streets,” Summers said. “It just tears our heart out when we find them. … We serve every one of them that we meet.”

Summers said it seems the number of homeless veterans is increasing. In two weeks in December, Youngstown Blue Coats volunteers found and served more than 1,200 people just in the Mahoning Valley.

“This money will come in so handy to purchase those warming items – coats and boots and gloves and hats – so we can provide some type of warmth to get them through the winter,” said Summers, who notes it is a blessing to be able to help so many.

Members of the organization take a guide with them when they visit with homeless veterans at camps or mission venues, someone who can connect veterans to resources that can try to help them get off the streets. 

Summers offered that if any of the employees at Dearing want to help further, besides fundraising, the Blue Coats always needs volunteers.

Becky Wall, CEO of Dearing, said the company will put out boxes for employees who might want to donate a new or gently used coat or other warming items. Those items also will be forwarded directly to Youngstown Blue Coats.

Employing more than 200, Dearing Compressor’s slogan for 2024 is “Attitude is Everything,” Wall said. The company’s employees work in six facilities at the Dearing campus where they design and install gas compressors for the oil and gas industry.

Part of the attitude is giving back to the local community, and Wall said Dearing employees first began making a donation to a local charity in 2018. The company buys several items for the Christmas party, and the employees auction them. The proceeds from the auction go toward a charity that is not already supported by corporate sponsorships.

This year they chose Youngstown Blue Coats.

“We have a lot of veterans who work in the company, so we’re very sensitive to their needs,” Wall said. “We love our community. We’ve been here for a very long time. We are homegrown, and we love to give back. Our employees have totally embraced our mission.”

More information on supporting the mission of Youngstown Blue Coats can be found HERE.

Pictured at top: Standing in front of Dearing Compressor and Pump employees are, from left, Becky Wall, Dearing CEO; Albin Dearing, Dearing president; Patty Summers, president, CEO and founder of the Youngstown Blue Coats; Kathleen Dearing; Roseann Panning, vice president and interim treasurer of the Youngstown Blue Coats; Richard Roth, Blue Coats transportation supervisor; and John Johnston, secretary and veterans liaison of the Blue Coats.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.