While many union families are revving up for the coming Christmas season, there are still dozens of others who simply cannot afford to buy their kids toys and struggle to put food on their table and keep a roof over their heads. Employment may be up, but not for everyone.
And so once again we are reaching out to our union brothers and sisters and asking that you consider a donation to the $5 for the Fight Fund to make this holiday a little more tolerable for those still out of work and in need of help.
To date, while the Fund has been working diligently to help union families out of work, this holiday still looks bleak for almost three dozen families still seeking help. And hundreds more simply are too proud to ask for help.
At the end of October:
- The $5 for the Fight Fund had helped 265 families with contributions of $68,148 for food, medicine, rent assistance, mortgage help, utilities and other expenses.
- Another $4,856 in assistance came from other United Way funds and food cards to union families in need.
- The Schnucks eScript card program had raised $4,058 through September.
Here’s a note that came with a donation from a UAW Local 1760 brother that speaks to what the Fight Fund is all about:
“This check is presented with the spirit of solidarity that demands unionist watch out and take care of each other… we believe what goes around, comes around and by helping each other in our time of need we are all strong and more prepared for the next challenge.”
Added an Operating Engineers Local 513 donor, himself still out of work: “I am a second generation… currently unemployed myself. I have seen the good times and the bad times. I feel very fortunate to be able to help with this $25. There are a lot less fortunate people in the trades right now, people losing their homes and good union insurance. I hope this can help in some way.”
CAN YOU HELP?
There are several ways you can help:
- Mail: Check/money order to “$5 for the Fight” mailed to: $5 for the Fight, c/o St. Louis Labor Council, 3301 Hollenberg Drive, Bridgeton, MO 63044; please include your union affiliation.
- Online – www.labortribune.com. Click “$5 for the Fight Donations” to be taken to a secure payment site.
- Reoccurring credit card donation: go to www.labortribune.com, click “$5 for the Fight Donations” to go to the secure donations page. Check “Automatic monthly deduction” and the amount you want to donate. Your designated donation will automatically deduct from your credit card each month.
- eScrip shopping at Schnucks – By using the eScrip community card from Schnucks each time you shop, Schnucks will donate a portion of your purchase to the Fight Fund. The amount goes up as your total purchases for the month climb: one percent for the first $300, two percent from $301 - $600 and three percent from $601 - $999. The cost to you is zero. It’s FREE money to help our brothers and sisters.
NEED A eScrip CARD?
- If you already have a Schnucks eScrip Card, you can add the Fight Fund to your existing card by simply calling 1-800-931-6258 and add “St. Louis Labor Council-5 for the Fight” to it. Keep in mind you can designate up the three organizations to get the funding as long as the group is registered with Schnucks to participate.
- If you don’t have a card it’s simple to get one. Just go to the Customer Service Center at any Schnucks to pick up a card. You can have the cashier swipe the card that day when you pay for your groceries.
However, once you get home you must register the card to get credit for what you just purchased and for future purchases. There are two ways to register:
- Phone: call 1-800-931-6258. Say that you want your purchases credited toward “St. Louis Labor Council-5 for the Fight” - Group #500030665 OR,
- Online at www.escrip.com/schnucks.jsp. Click “register your card” and follow the prompts. Make sure you indicate purchases to be credited toward “St. Louis Labor Council-5 for the Fight” where it asks you “Enter a Group Name” and then also check the box when the council’s name comes up.
If you register within seven days of any purchase, that amount is retroactively credited to the $5 for the Fight Fund. Each card also comes with a handy smaller card that you can attach to your car key chain so it’s handy each time you buy groceries.
DONATIONS TO HONOR ROLL
Anything you can afford will help. All donations will be recognized in our $5 for the Fight Honor Roll published the first issue of each month. See Page 21 for the most current list.
Remember, 100 percent of 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.”
Need help? Don’t be too proud to ask
If you are in need of emergency financial help, please don’t be too proud to ask for assistance. There are two ways to get help:
- First, contact your union who will only verify membership. They will not ask what the need is. The union then sends your name on to the United Way’s labor liaison staff.
- Second, if for some reason you don’t feel comfortable calling your union, you can call the United Way’s Help Line direct — 314-539-4189. They will discuss your need and process requests in line with established criteria. However, they will verify membership with your local before any processing starts.
All contacts are strictly confidential!
In addition to the “$5 for the Fight” funds, the United Way has set aside money to help as well. Plus, the United Way can make referrals to other agencies where specific kinds of help and services are available at no cost.
Don’t be too proud to ask for help. Later, when things get better, you can pay it forward by making a Fight Fund contribution, as many have already done.