Unions bring holiday cheer to communities

A few weeks ago, we wrote about Sports Illustrated naming professional football player and active union member Drew Brees as its Sportsman of the Year in recognition of his work on and off the field in New Orleans. Brees isn’t the only union member giving back this holiday season. In newspapers across the country, stories are cropping up about the ways everyday union members are pitching in to better their own communities.

In New Jersey, the Atlantic City and Cape May County AFL-CIO Central Labor Council recently completed its sixth annual “Fly Home for the Holidays” program that helps a local resident bring a loved one to New Jersey for the holidays. This year the Council helped Fred Slunt III fly his parents from Nevada to southern New Jersey so the family can spend the holidays together. Both of Fred’s parents have encountered serious medical conditions in recent years and have been unable to meet their youngest granddaughter in person.

Across the country, in Bakersfield, California, members of Sheet Metal Workers International Local 105 threw a Christmas party for unemployed members of the local and their families. The union provided dinner, entertainment, door prizes, and gifts for children who otherwise were likely to receive very little this holiday season. For workers living in a county with 15.4 percent unemployment, the Sheet Metal Workers party helped make Christmas a little brighter this year.

Union members are also rallying to help the troops. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, members of the Transport Workers Union donated money to provide thirty-two rucksacks for members of the Oklahoma National Guard who are deploying soon to Afghanistan, with more rucksacks still to come. U.S. Army. Staff Sgt. Bucky Hopwood described the rucksacks, which weigh less than the general issued equipment, as “an invaluable tool.”

These anecdotes from across the country are only a small sampling of the good work unions and their members do each and every day for their communities. As Roy Foster of the Atlantic City and Cape May County AFL-CIO Central Labor Council noted, “Being in a labor movement is about meeting and helping people in the community. If we can help in some small way, especially at this time of the year, then we’re fulfilling our mission.” We couldn’t agree more, Roy.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 at 4:35 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Unions bring holiday cheer to communities”

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