By SHERI GASASWAY
Maryland Heights, MO – St. Louis Crisis Nursery experienced Christmas in July last month as members of St. Louis Emerging Labor Leaders (StELL) and Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 carried in armloads of back-to-school supplies for children served by the organization.
“It was crazy because the gifts just kept coming in,” said Jane Beckman, the nursey’s communications director. “We are so grateful for the help because we’ve been getting calls and messages on Facebook every day from parents requesting school supplies.”
The nursery, founded in 1986, works to prevent child abuse and neglect and provides emergency intervention, respite care and support to families in crisis throughout Metro St. Louis.
KICKBALL TOURNAMENT RAISED NEARLY $1,400
StELL, a group of young and newer union members working together to educate, empower and mobilize the next generation of labor leaders, raised almost $1,400 for the effort through its fifth annual “Kickstart to School” kickball tournament at the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex on July 29.
“We were really pleased with the turnout, especially since it rained almost all day,” said StELL President Gordon Smith Jr., a member of CWA Local 6300. “We used the money to buy school supplies, and Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 really came through with their donation. It was just amazing.”
$1,000 IN DIRECT MEMBER DONATIONS
Local 562, which came in second place in the kickball tournament for the second year in a row, put out a call for school supplies 24 hours before its July union meeting, resulting in about $1,000 in member donations. About 20 Local 562 members helped drop off supplies at the nursery on July 31.
“At least I didn’t cry this time,” Beckman said, referring to earlier this year when Local 562 presented the nursery with a mountain of diapers and a surprise check for $5,000. “The generosity of these groups is incredible.”