Out of work for two years, and now homeless, his family scattered among relatives despite help from $5 for the Fight, a young ironworker expresses his appreciation for the fund’s help that he did receive that staved off losing his home for some time. This will be the first Christmas in 20 years that he’s separated from his family.
This is only one of the many tragic stories that abound as union families continue to struggle, as the slowly improving economy is not rebounding fast enough for so many.
And the desperation becomes worse at this time of year as parents struggling to make ends meet are also struggling to help their children have some kind of a Christmas celebration.
“We’re getting at least ten calls a day for help,” United Way AFL-CIO Community Services Liaison Roz Sherman-Voellinger told the Labor Tribune over the weekend. “People are in desperate need of help.”
$5 FIGHT FUND HELPING
And that’s where the $5 For the Fight Fund comes in. In just the last month, almost a hundred new families received some form of aid from the Fight Fund.
Since January 1, the Fund has helped 420 union families from 74 different unions. And with the Hostess shutdown, more calls are expected to pour in.
And so, we’re reaching out and asking every union family that’s working to PLEASE considering making a holiday’s donation to the Fund; all monies go directly to helping union families, not a cent is held back for administrative costs which are absorbed by the Greater St. Louis Labor Council, the United Way and the Labor Tribune.
UNIONS STEPPING UP TOO
And during this season, a number of unions are stepping up to offer added help:
• Laborers Local 110 has donated another $6,100 to the Fight Fund, refund money the union received from Schnucks Markets for buying food gift cards for their retirees and members. They have already donated many thousands of dollars.
• United Auto Workers Local 2250 has “adopted” 150 children, 48 of them from families helped by the Fight Fund. Local members “adopt” a child and buy, from their own pocket, the essentials like coats, pants, underwear and toys. Additionally, the local provides a holiday lunch and program for low-income families at the Elder Court in Wentzville, an effort they have done for years.
• IBEW Local 1 reached out to a Vietnam vet on a limited income who could not afford to fix the damages resulting from an electrical fire in his home, so he went without heat for over a year. The union repaired his electrical system.
• Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 and Postal Workers Branch 343 packaged over 1,000 boxes of food stuffs and goodies to be mailed to our troops in Afganistan through their annual Treat For The Troops program with Shop ‘n Save.
• The Labor Tribune is adopting a union family through the $5 Fight Fund to help provide them with essentials and Christmas gifts for their four boys, ages 2-9. No names have been provided and distribution of gifts will be through the $5 Fight Fund via the United Way.
• Hoisting Engineers 513 has donated $10,000 to the United Way for the supplemental help they give the Fight Fund.
• CWA Local 6300 is conducting a canned food drive to help supply local food banks running extremely low on supplies. (See story on Page ???.)
And so many more we simply don’t know about.
If your union is making a special community out-reach program this year, email us and tell us about it. The Labor Tribune is going to do a summary story for our Christmas issue. Deadline for information and photos is Dec. 14. Send info and stories to: email@example.com.
WANT TO DONATE?
There are three ways to give to the fund.
- Mail – check/money order payable to “$5 for the Fight.” Mail to: “$5 for the Fight”, c/o St. Louis Labor Council, 3301 Hollenberg Drive, Bridgeton, MO 63044. Please include union affiliation.
- Online – www.labortribune.com, click “$5 for the Fight Donations.”
- Recurring credit card donation – www.labortribune.com, “$5 for the Fight Donations.” Select “Automatic monthly deduction,” amount and number of months donation. NOTE: Credit card billing statement will read “505 Publications.”
Remember, 100 percent of your donation goes into the “Fight Fund.”