By CARL GREEN
Cairo, IL – Laborers Local 773 and Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza kicked off the holiday season last week by bringing 160 turkeys and hams to needy residents at the Arrowleaf Community Center in Cairo.
Local 773, which represents workers in construction and railroad maintenance, donated the meat and bags of other foods for Thanksgiving dinners through its charitable arm, The Laborers Care Foundation (TLC). Krispy Kreme in Marion added boxes of doughnuts.
“Once again it was a privilege of The Laborers’ Care Foundation in conjunction with Laborers’ Local 773 to partner with Comptroller Mendoza and her staff,” said Local 773 Business Manager Jerry Womick. “The town of Cairo and Alexander County is a food desert where residents have to travel in excess of 30 miles to the closest grocery stores.
“Again this year, The Laborers’ Care, through generous donations and partnerships, were able to do our part in helping the residents of Cairo. We again would like to thank Josh Downs with Comptrollers Mendoza’s office for coordinating such a well-attended and much needed event helping some of the poorest citizens of our state.”
Mendoza also arranged for vaccinations to be provided by the Southern Seven Health Department. Alexander County has the lowest vaccination of all Illinois counties.
“Residents throughout the state can greatly benefit from the protection these free COVID-19 vaccinations provide against severe disease,” Mendoza said. “That’s why my office wanted to make sure the people of Cairo were given an additional opportunity to get vaccinated.”
The TLC Foundation supports many local organizations including The Boys and Girls Club of Marion, The Poshard Foundation and Warming Center of Carbondale, USDA Farm to Families Mission, The Haven House for Displaced Veterans, Heavens Kitchen providing free meals to residents and other organizations dedicated to improving the lives of others.
In 2021, Local 773 hosted a Bocce Ball Tournament to raise funds for the TLC Foundation and raised nearly $20,000 to benefit local organizations and charities.
FIFTH STRAIGHT YEAR
This is the fifth year Mendoza’s office has brought donations to families in Cairo. Arrowleaf, a human services nonprofit, coordinated and hosted the event and also offered clothing and coat donations.
Mendoza also repeated her promise to expedite payments for the development of Cairo’s new international port, expected to bring jobs and economic development to the region. “Cairo needs more than one shot in the arm,” she said.
FREE COVID VACCINATIONS
Southern Illinois residents can call their local county health departments to schedule free COVID-19 vaccinations. Those unsure of whom to call can call the Southern Seven Health Department at 618-634-2297 for information.