AFL-CIO United Way Partnership
The AFL/CIO is dedicated to providing the best services available to its membership. With this in mind, they formed a partnership with the United Way of Central Massachusetts over 40 years ago. The partnership has provided solutions in creating a stronger community that provides a great place for union members to live, work, raise children and retire.
The partnership is an essential part of the solutions needed to continue strengthening the community.
Working together, the AFL/CIO United Way partnership provides members with the opportunity to shape their community through volunteer services and a direct link to information on health, and human services.
AFL-CIO Community Services Program
The Community Services Program coordinates many programs to benefit members of organized labor, their families and the community at large. Members of organized labor participate in United Way’s Day of Caring, organize the Handicapped Ramp Program, NALC food drive, the Holiday toy drive and other special projects. One of the most important roles of the Community Services Program is to design and provide training sessions for union members, their families and other community partners.
NALC Food Drive
On the second Saturday in May each year the National Association of Letter Carriers hold their annual Stamp Out Hunger in America National Food Drive. Nearly 1,500 local branches in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands participate in the program. This food drive, the largest single volunteer day in America, depends on the generous efforts of letter carriers across the nation, as well as the outstanding support of the Campbell soup Company, America’s Second Harvest, local United Ways, and the AFL/CIO. By the end of the day, in addition to the daily mail, the NALC collected a record 70.9 million pounds of food for the hungry in America. NALC President William Young commented, “Many of the recipients are from working families, people who just need a helping hand to get through some tough times”. This year, volunteers from NALC Branch 12 delivered 348,816 pounds of food to organizations serving the hungry in Central Massachusetts — critical for kids during out-of-school time.
Union Community Activist Network (UCAN) Training Program
Members of organized labor are often people who care deeply for their community. Union brothers and sisters can learn about the tools available to help communities by joining the Union Community Activist Network (UCAN). The UCAN training is the entry point for volunteers in Community Services. It connects union members to services and prepares them to actively participate in union building, community building, and mobilizing strategies of the Central Labor Council. In the Spring of 2004, the Community Services Committee conducted a three- week training program about social justice issues that prepared leaders to continue the time honored tradition of fighting for equity, fairness and change.
Handicap Ramp Program
Local union members volunteer here in our community identifying agencies, families and individuals who are in need of handicap – accessibility. They donate their time and supplies to construct ramps that significantly improve the quality of life for people in our community. Carpenters local 107 have been instrumental in organizing the engineering side of the handicap ramp process, and partner with the AFL/CIO Labor Director at the United Way to build secure, well-constructed ramps.
For more information on Labor Services, contact Paul Soucy, Director of Labor – AFL/CIO at (508) 757-5631 ext 212.