Photo By: 
Marvin Tavarez

Santa's All Year Round

Sheet Metal Workers send 3,000 Toys to Puerto Rico, the IBEW sends electricians and the Trades adopt striking families.

Brian Young's picture
Dec 21, 2017

The union movement teaches us that we are all brothers and sisters, regardless of trade or job status. Union members know that thanks to their bargaining power they are often better off than non-union families. This holiday season, unions and their members are organizing to give back to the community.

In NYC Local 28 of the Sheet Metal Workers Union decided to give back by holding a toy drive. The event which took place in the Bronx collected 3,000 toys to be sent to Puerto Rico to help children affected by the recent hurricanes and given to needy children in the community. The event, which was organized by Local 28 member William Valentin, was held at Port Morris Distillery, a Local 28 owned business. Local 28 also held a toy drive in Sunset Park Brooklyn, where there is a large Puerto Rican community. This toy drive organized by Sal Starace and Jose Ramos. They teamed up with local politician Carlos Menchaca provided gifts for over 100 children. “Members of Local 28 are helping the less fortunate and totally understand how tough it is for families during the Christmas season,” said Marvin Tavarez of Local 28.

Other unions like IBEW 1249, also took part in toy drives this holiday season. 1249 reported record support for their Toys for Tots drive this year. This was with some of their members working throughout the holidays in the Caribbean to restore power lost back in September from a rash of powerful hurricanes.

UCOMM also recently reported on how union building tradesmen were organizing an Adopt-a-Family campaign to help out the struggling Local 3 families who are on strike at Spectrum. When we first wrote the story, a few dozen families had been matched, but now, only a few days later, over 200 families have been matched up. “It has been overwhelming the support we have received since we started this mission,” said Freddie McCourt, the organizer of the campaign.

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