476 families from 77 locals helped last year
Even as the economy slowly recovers, the need for financial help for union families whose breadwinner is still out-of-work continues strong, records from the $5 For The Fight campaign reveal.
To help meet that need, the Simmons Law Firm, for the second year, has issued a $25,000 Challenge commitment to the area labor movement; if we can raise $25,000, the law firm will match it with its second $25,000 donation. The firm donated $25,000 to the campaign last year after readers donated an equal amount to the Fight Fund
“We were impressed by the outpouring of support last year and are excited to renew the campaign for 2013. We hope others will again consider giving when they know their donation will go twice as far to help local union families,” said, Simmons attorney Chris Guinn.
From January thru April, the average assistance from the $5 Fight Fund has been almost $8,000 a month with an average of 21 families a month being helped. Last year, the Fight Fund paid out an average of $11,500 to 40 families every month. This suggests the economic recovery is slowly underway, but not catching up to pre-recession levels of four years ago.
In 2012, a total of 476 union families from 77 different locals received $138,000 to help with medicines and medical insurance (12), rent (116), mortgages to save a home (56), utilities to prevent shutoffs (254), auto repairs (12), and miscellaneous items (26).
In addition to the $5 for the Fight funds, several other emergency help funds also contributed to the rescue efforts including the Sheet Metal Workers Metalworking Industry Fund, Plumbers & Pipefitters 562, Union Tornado Fund, the Laid-Off Workers Fund and the United Way.
WAYS TO GIVE
If you can help, please right now write a check for whatever you can afford to “$5 for the Fight” knowing that your contribution will help someone in desperate need of help. There’s three ways to give:
• 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.
• On line –www.labortribune.com, click “$5 for the Fight Donations” that takes you to a secure payment site.
• Reoccurring credit card donation: www.labortribune.com, “$5 for the Fight Donations .” Click: “Automatic monthly deduction,” the amount and how many months you want the deduction to be made.
LEVELS OF GIVING
Remember, there are now nine 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, your will automatically move into the appropriate honor roll.
Remember, 100 percent of donation goes into the “Fight Fund.” From a lot of grateful people, “thank you” for agreeing that “we share because we care for one another.”
IF YOU NEED HELP
If you are in need of emergency financial help, please don’t be too proud to ask for assistance. Here’s how:
• First, you must contact your local union who will verify membership;
• Second, your local will forward the request to the labor liaison staff at the United Way who will then process requests in line with established criteria.
No direct requests to the United Way for this help will be accepted; only referrals from a local union will be honored.
All contacts are strictly confidential!
In addition to the “$5 for the Fight” funds, the United Way has set aside some monies 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.
The Fight Honor Roll is published the first week of each month in the Labor Tribune to acknowledge the kindness and generosity of donors.