HELP! $5 for Fight Fund is almost broke

185 families (31 a month) have already turned to the Fight Fund for help this year

STEPPING UP TO HELP union families in need, the Graphic Communications Conference (GCC)/International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) made a $730 donation to the St. Louis Labor Council’s $5 for the Fight Fund on June 28. The money was collected at the GCC’s Midwest State Conference. Presenting the check to Labor Council President Pat White (center), are Secretary Treasurer John Bielicki III (left) and President Mike Congemi. – St. Louis Labor Council photo

The Robert J. Kelley $5 for the Fight Fund is running out of cash to help union families in need.

As this week’s edition of the Labor Tribune went to press, the fund only had $5,895.34 is available. That may sound like a good amount, but with 185 families – an average of 31 families a month – already helped this year and dozens of new calls for help pending, those funds will dwindle quickly.

The fund got a temporary boost late last week with a $730 donation from members of the Graphic Communications Conference/IBT, but with summer heating up, calls for utility assistance and potential home evictions are expected to soar for union families facing hardship.

Here are a few examples of the crisis and how your donations to the Fight Fund have helped union families in need:

  • Eviction avoided: A single father tradesman with three children behind on his rent and facing eviction reached out to the $5 for the Fight Fund the day before he was to appear in court. Fight funds were used to prevent the eviction and the family was able to remain in their home.
  • Gas cut-off avoided: A proud union grandfather raising his grandchildren and received a shut-off notice for gas service to their home. Fight funds were used to keep the service connected and the union member was able to set up a payment plan for the balance.
  • Home saved: A union husband and wife have four children, including one child who is seriously ill, fell behind when the wife took unpaid family leave the last few months to care for the child. Due to the family’s reduce income, the family found themselves in jeopardy of losing their home. Again, $5 for the Fight funds prevented the eviction.

“Our unions and union members have always stepped up when the really critical need is there,“ said Pat White, president of the St. Louis Labor Council. “We are calling on our unions and members to step up again. We have a lot of families still facing crisis who turn to the Fight Fund for help.”

Even with a so-called “booming economy,” which working families are not quite seeing, the Fight Fund has been called on to provide $37,811.88 of your donations to help 185 union families in need. That’s an average of 31 families a month calling for help.

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.

“We encourage everyone to consider picking up a free eScrip card at their local Schnucks,” White said.

No matter how you choose to contribute, your donation will make a difference for union families in need. And your generosity will be recognized. A current Honor Roll of givers is found on The Donor Honor Roll page, with donors names listed in various categories of giving.

If your gift moves you from one category to another, your name will automatically move into the appropriate Honor Roll.

Remember, 100 percent of each donation goes into the Fight Fund.” All efforts to promote and service the Fund are donated by the Labor Council, the United Way and the Labor Tribune.

From a lot of grateful people, “thank you” for agreeing that “we share because we care for one another.”


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