$5 Fight Fund provided $95,339 to help 389 union families in 2019

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Donations helped members from 61 unions in Missouri, Southern Illinois, but funds are running low again

REACHING OUT TO UNION FAMILIES IN NEED by making a donation to the $5 for the Fight Fund and the United Way at the St. Louis Labor Council’s annual holiday gathering last December, UFCW Local 655 President David Cook (front row, second from left) hands a $5 for the Fight staff donation to Labor Council President Pat White to the cheers of Local 655’s staff.
MAKING A $20,000 DONATION to the United Way on behalf of the St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council’s affiliated unions and members is Executive Secretary-Treasurer John Stiffler (third from left) presenting the donation to United Way’s new President/CEO Michelle Tucker, with (from left) St. Louis Labor Council President Pat White, Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis, (Stiffler, Tucker), United Way Vice President Labor Participation Sonja Gholston-Byrd, United Way Director of Labor Engagement Rose McCowan, Sprinkler Fitters 268’s Financial Secretary-Treasurer Jason Olliges and Bricklayers Administrative Council of Eastern Missouri Director Brian Jennewein. - Labor Tribune photos

Thanks to your heart and generosity, 389 union families from 61 different unions in Missouri and Southern Illinois in desperate straits were helped last year by the $5 for the Fight Fund with assistance of the United Way.

Your donations made $95,339.74 in aid possible to those families, not directly to them, but to the service providers whose bills needed to be paid. For medicine, food, housing, health care, utilities, mortgages, etc., whatever the need, the Fight Fund, after review and confirmation of the circumstances by the United Way, stepped in to help.

An additional $1,665 was given out in food cards. As of mid-January, the Fight Fund had $23,672.44 left and rapidly decreasing.

At the Labor Council’s annual Christmas gathering last December, five groups donated almost $3,000: Fire Fighters Local 2665, Pattonville Fire Fighters, UFCW Local 655, Southwestern Illinois Union Counselor Association and the Missouri AFL-CIO.

Additionally, the St. Louis Building Trades Council donated $20,000 to the United Way to help with their providing direct services and support to union families.

EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS
“The efforts of our members to donate $5, $10, $25 - any amount - and even a number of union members who are consistently donating every month via recurring credit card payments — that money is put to good use for union families facing hard times. And I can tell you, it is APPRECIATED,” said Pat White, St. Louis Labor Council president.

“Without that help, too many families and their children would be seriously hurt, and we simply cannot allow that to happen,” added John Stiffler, executive secretary-treasurer of the St. Louis Building Trades Council, who also expressed a “thank you” to our unions. “We take care of our own!”

WAYS TO GIVE
Donations to the “$5 for the Fight” Fund can be made by check, online or through the Schnucks eScrip program. Here’s how:

  • Mail – Mail a check or money order to “$5 for the Fight,” c/o St. Louis Labor Council, 3301 Hollenberg Drive, Bridgeton, MO 63044. Please include your union affiliation.

  • Online – Visit the $5 for the Fight” page, click “Donate” at the bottom right to be taken to a secure payment site. There is an option to create a Reoccurring Automated Donation on the payment page.

  • The Schnucks eScrip program is “free money” for the Fight Fund; it doesn’t cost you a penny to participate. Just pick up a free eScrip card at your local Schnucks. When you show it at checkout, Schnucks will donate a percentage of your purchase total to the Fight Fund. The amount varies with your monthly purchases: one percent for the first $300; two percent from $301-$600; and three percent from $601- $999.

If you already have a Schnucks eScrip Card, you can add the Fight Fund to your existing card by calling 1-800-931-6258 and adding “St. Louis Labor Council-5 for the Fight” to the organizations you want to support. You can designate up to three organizations to get the funding as long as the group is registered with Schnucks to participate. This is free money for the Fight Fund, and it won’t cost you a dime.

Here’s how your Fight donations help

Here are several stories from families helped by your donations to the $5 for the Fight Fund. It provides perspective as to what it means to be able to hold out a helping hand to a union brother or sister finding themselves in difficult circumstances:

  • Single mother suffered daily with excruciating pain was diagnosed with a brain tumor that required surgery. Fight funds were utilized to help with electric, gas and to ensure cell phone service was not interrupted so she could keep in contact with her doctor.
  • Union brother, a widower with three young children, was behind on his utility bill. A senior family member assisted with caring for his children. The Fight Fund helped to prevent disconnection of electric.
  • Single father, a tradesman with two children, was laid off and exhausted all his financial resources. Both children have critical medical conditions. The Fight Fund helped with funds to ensure immediate medical needs of his children were met.
  • Tradeswoman with two children was in a custody dispute with her spouse. The situation created huge legal bills that drained her personal funds. As a low wage union member, she found herself behind on her rent and faced eviction. The Fight Fund prevented the eviction and the family was able to remain in their home.
  • Single father of four children working two union jobs faced day-to-day challenges making ends meet. He purchased back-to-school supplies for his children, but it created a serious financial hardship for him and the family. The Fight Fund assisted with rent and electric payments.

Your donations make a difference! “We share because we care for one another.”

 

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