75 families so far have turned to the $5 for Fight Fund for help this year

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By ED FINKELSTEIN
Publisher

Examples of help to our families; MORE $$ needed to meet growing demand

The brutal winter we’re experiencing has had an impact on union families, placing increased demand on the $5 for the Fight Fund. More than 75 families in need of critical assistance turned to the Fund for help in January and February, depleting all but about $24,000 of the Fund’s reserves.

Your donations keep the Fund going to help union families facing unexpected expenses due to injury, job loss, changing life circumstances, medical emergencies or other unexpected changes.

When union families are facing crisis, the Fight Fund intervenes, writing checks and negotiating payments directly with landlords, suppliers and service providers.

RECENT CASES
Here are a few recent examples of union members who sought and received help from the Fight Fund and the United Way, which partners with the St. Louis Labor Council to administer the fund and help families in need:

  • Hurt on the job – A union member was seriously injured on the job and has had seven surgeries since being hurt. He and his wife provide full-time care for their young son with disabilities. The member is waiting on Worker’s Compensation to decide if he will receive back pay. The family was on a budgeted payment plan with Ameren, but their circumstances caused them to miss a payment, resulting in the entire bill coming due in full. Fight Fund Help: The Fight Fund in conjunction with another agency paid the bill in full, preventing the family from having their electricity shut-off.
  •  Missed work, lost wages to care for grandchild – A bus driver, who is raising her seven-year old grandchild, has had to miss work because her grandchild is acting out and having difficulties at school. As a result of being called into the school to deal with the child’s issues, she has missed work quite often and had to take time off without pay, leaving her financially strapped. She turned to the Fight Fund after receiving a shut-off notice for her gas service. Fight Fund Help: Even though the request for help came a day after the shut-off due date, the Fight United Way Labor Liaisons administering the program were able to negotiate with the provider and use $5 for the Fight funds to prevent shut- off.
  • Separation brings drastic surprise – A laid-off tradesman, recently separated, is raising three small children without any additional support. To his surprise he discovered the family’s bills, previously handled by his wife, had not been paid for months, putting the family behind on their mortgage, auto and electric bills, with the threat of having their electricity disconnected. Fight Fund Help: A partial payment was made and a payment agreement established under the Cold Weather Rule to prevent shut-off.
  • Facing eviction – A union member who works a seasonal job and has a spouse and five children was laid-off and went to court to stop a rent eviction. The court ruled the family could stay if they came up with the outstanding rent balance; if not, they would be put out of the home. Fight Fund Help: Negotiating with the landlord, Fight Fund administrators stopped the eviction by making an emergency partial rent payment, giving the family time to come up with the remaining past-due rent.
  • Rent increase takes all her wages: An elderly part-time worker, who takes the bus every day to work, saw her rent triple when the building she lives in was sold to a new owner. It took all her wages just to pay the rent. She gave up her dog because she could not afford the new monthly pet fee, but still couldn’t pay for her utilities and received a shut-off notice for her gas. Fight Fund Help: The Fight Fund paid the gas bill to stop the disconnect.

These are just a few examples of the crises union member families face that you can help resolve with a donation to the Fight Fund.
Please consider making a contribution. It is the generosity of our union members that keeps the Fund going.

One hundred percent of your donation goes to the Fight Fund. Promotion and service of the Fund are donated by the Labor Council, the United Way and the Labor Tribune.

Multiple ways to donate
Please, consider giving something to the $5 for the Fight Fund to help a union member in need. There are multiple ways to donate:

  • 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.
  • Make an online donation by visiting the $5 for the Fight Donation Page. There is an option to create a Reoccurring Automated Donation.
  • 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 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.

LEVELS OF GIVING
There are nine categories of giving:

• Apprentice – $1 to $12/ George Washington Honor Roll
• Journeyman – $13-50/Andrew Jackson Honor Roll
• Steward – $51-$99/ Ulysses S. Grant Honor Roll
• Chief Steward – $100 +/Ben Franklin Honor Roll
• Job Foreman – $500+ / William McKinley Honor Roll
• General Foreman – $1,000 +/ Grover Cleveland Honor Roll
• Major Donors – $2,500 +
• In Memoriam – to honor a loved one or friend or fellow union member.
• Organizations/Companies

An Honor Roll of donors is published the first issue of each month in the Labor Tribune and on the Donor Honor Roll page.

One hundred percent of your donation goes to the Fight Fund. Promotion and service of the Fund are donated by the Labor Council, the United Way and the Labor Tribune.

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