$5 for the Fight Fund expecting year-end crush; donations needed ASAP
By ED FINKELSTEIN
With unemployment benefits about to end and no new help in sight from the federal government until the new administration takes charge next month, the $5 for the Fight Fund is expecting a massive influx of calls for help in the coming weeks.
In response, the St. Louis Labor Council has put out an URGENT call to all working families to consider making a donation to the Fight Fund, NOW.
“Thanks to the generosity of our union members and locals, we’ve been able to meet demands till now, but we expect to be overwhelmed and we need to be ready,” stressed Labor Council President Pat White. “We’re calling on all working brothers and sisters to help us extend a helping hand to our union families in need, and especially with the holidays coming up while so many are still out of work or working short hours because of the pandemic.”
As of Nov. 16, the Fight Fund had provided $28,920 in direct aid to 141 families from 41 different unions. Additionally, the United Way was able to get 67 union families help from various United Way agencies.
‘A GODSEND TO ME’
“You’ve been a godsend to me,” wrote a woman who, taking care of her young disabled sister, was on the verge of a breakdown with stress seriously impacting her own health. The Fight Fund was able to get her to a doctor and she’s now doing better. “I express my deepest, deepest gratitude to everyone who’s helping out,” she wrote.
In another instance, a young single mother with children became homeless. The Fight Fund was able to get her temporary housing. “I’m doing better now. Thanks for looking out for me and my children. I can’t begin to tell you what it’s meant to us,” she wrote.
EMERGENCY HELP FOR UNION FAMILIES IN NEED
In addition to the Fight Fund support, the United Way Labor liaisons, who administer Fight Fund distribution for the Labor Council, are able to bring other resources to our members to support their needs.
Some of that help is in the form of emergency payments from the Fight Fund to vendors to meet medical or utility bills, avoid evictions, provide temporary housing, keep heat on, buy medicine or even food. In addition, the Labor liaisons provide referrals to United Way-backed agencies that provide specialized support. No money goes directly to recipients.
“It tears your heart out to hear the needs union families have,” said Sonja Gholston-Byrd, vice president for Labor Engagement at the United Way, who oversees administration of the Fight Fund. “Without the support of the Fight Fund, most of the people and families we are able to help would have nowhere else to turn. That’s why the Fund is so vital.”
HERE’S HOW TO HELP
Donations to the $5 for the Fight Fund can be made by check or online. One hundred percent of each donation goes directly to the Fund. You can donate in these ways:
- 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 labortribune.com/5-for-the-fight to make a secure one-time donation or an automatic monthly deduction.
- Schnucks eScrip program – This is “free money,” as Schnucks donates a percentage of your purchase to the Fight Fund. It doesn’t cost you a thing. You can pick up an eScrip card at your local Schnucks store.
Efforts to promote and service the Fight Fund are donated by the Labor Council, United Way and the Labor Tribune.
LEVELS OF GIVING
No matter how you choose to contribute, your donation will make a difference for union families in need. And your generosity will be recognized in the Honor Roll of contributors regularly published in the Labor Tribune and on our Donor Honor Roll page published on our website, with donors names listed in various 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.
If your gift moves you from one category to another, you will automatically move into the appropriate category of the Honor Roll.
Remember, 100 percent of every donation goes directly to the Fight Fund to help union families. 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.”