By SHERI GASSAWAY
The first IBEW Local 1 Reach-out and Engage Next-Gen Electrical Workers (RENEW) food drive to benefit the St. Louis Food Bank was a huge success – collecting 2,800 pounds of food and $1,050 in cash donations.
The event, held from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 17, in the parking lot of IBEW Local 1 in St. Louis allowed for proper social distancing amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Visitors simply stopped by the tent, and a masked volunteer unloaded their donation.
‘GOOD FOR THE COMMUNITY’
RENEW President Hannah Burton, an IBEW Local 1 apprentice, said the group usually holds an annual trivia night fundraiser, but that wasn’t feasible because of the pandemic.
“We wanted to utilize the time to do something good for the community,” she said. “It’s been a pretty good turnout for our first food drive and with a little more planning, hopefully turnout will be even bigger next year. I’m so grateful to the Brotherhood and to the members who lent a hand and donated.”
The group decided to hold the food drive following the success of last December’s Labor Food Drive, which collected 10 tons of food and $3,500 in cash donations for the St. Louis Food Bank.
RENEW was formerly called the Apprenticeship Social Club. Its mission is to inspire the next generation of IBEW workers to become active in their local unions by focusing on issues important to younger workers, providing education about the IBEW and the Labor Movement and fostering relationships with members and local union leadership.
Greater involvement by local union members of all ages is critical to the growth of the IBEW. RENEW is an IBEW-wide initiative dedicated to creating opportunities for members ages 35 years and younger and helping them develop the skills necessary to become active in the local union and play a role in shaping its future.