As the holiday season approaches, organized labor in the Sacramento region is gearing up to provide goods and services to union sisters and brothers – as well as the larger community – who continue to face hardship.
￼“Our economy is getting better every day,” said Sacramento Central Labor Council Executive Director Bill Camp. “But there are still many members and their families that are struggling just for basic necessities like food and warm coats. Every one of us needs to take one action – give some time, food, whatever you can – to help out a sister or brother in need, because we are a union family.”
This month, organized labor continues its partnership with the United Way by kicking off its annual canned food drive. Last year, United Way Labor Liaison Greg Larkins helped place 43 collection barrels at 29 local unions, raising more than 3,000 pounds of food donations.
“Hundreds of people gave. It was an amazing show of solidarity with our union community,” said Larkins. “We were even able to restock Labor’s year-round food pantry Tom’s Closet, and assist area food banks.” This year, the Holiday Canned Food Drive runs until December 12.
The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 256 is also running its own holiday event to collect coats, which will be donated to the Sacramento Food Bank and the Family Services Clothes Closet. New or gently used items can be delivered to the ATU office or any Regional Transit Union office.
Volunteers are also needed for two upcoming projects this month. On Veterans’ Day Weekend, November 8 and 9, the AFL-CIO Community Services Team will do a number of renovation and maintenance projects at VFW Post 67 on Stockton Boulevard.
“This is a way not just to honor the women and men who have served our country, but to really give something back to them,” said Larkins.
Volunteers are also need on November 17 and 19 to aid with the construction of a new park at the Mack Road Valley Hi Community Center. This project is being funded by the proceeds from the recent Tom Lawson Community Impact Golf Tournament, and will be part of a new complex that includes a basketball court donated by the Sacramento Kings, and a soccer field donated by the Sacramento Republic Soccer Club. More than 50 volunteers are needed to facilitate this project.
“Those who knew Tom, our former Labor Liaison, know that he was tireless in his efforts to improve our communities and find resources for our sisters and brothers in need,” said Larkins. “This park captures that spirit of not just of giving back, but of doing things that have a positive, everyday impact on our neighborhoods.”
To host a donation barrel or volunteer for any project, contact Greg Larkins at 916-927-9772 or email Gregory. Larkins@uwccr.org. Read more about these projects in the November edition of The Bulletin.