In the United States, we celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday in September to recognize the economic and social contributions of working men and women. This Labor Day, I’d like to recognize two groups of union members who are volunteering in support of United Way initiatives.
In Pittsburgh, PA, United Way of Allegheny County, the Allegheny County Labor Council and 15 unions are joining forces to hold the Union Youth Career Day on September 5th at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 5 hall. Older teenagers and young adults will learn about job training and employment opportunities in the area, and tour the new Carpenters Union and IBEW’s training centers. The Career Day is being held in the same week as United Way’s Days of Caring, when more than 40 Pittsburgh-area union members will join corporate employee and other volunteers in refurbishing park trails and other activities to support United Way’s initiatives in education, income and health.
And in St. Paul, MN, more than 40 St. Paul Regional Labor Federation’s Labor Studies and Resource Center union members and retirees recently came to “speed volunteer” during the Greater Twin Cities United Way Action Day. “Speed volunteering” entails rapid assembly of items that improve lives. On Action Day, about 1,000 volunteers joined to:
- Keep 88 children warm at night by creating blankets.
- Give 4,000 hungry kids a healthy snack pack.
- Encourage good dental hygiene by creating 5,200 dental kits for children and adults.
- Support 220 seniors' independence by producing safety kits.
- Help 200 young students with their homework.
- Make a house a home for 100 families in transition by forming kitchen kits.
- Create 105 bookmarks to make learning fun for kids.
- Assist 20 kids in school with educational flashcard kits.
- Do 14,000 loads of laundry for families who don't have the option by making 7,000 laundry kits.
- Support 10 local nonprofits doing great work in the community with $7,500 in donations.
The East Metro Labor volunteer team won the speed volunteering competition and gave its $700 prize to the West 7th Community Center in St. Paul and to the YWCA of Minneapolis.
On Labor Day and every day, we salute these and countless other workers who make time to give back to their community through United Way.