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Commentary
In this time of great need, please give generously to United Way

From the Minneapolis Labor Review, December 23, 2011

By Bill McCarthy, President, Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation

It’s tough out there. Workers are facing long durations of unemployment and underemployment. Families and individuals are trying to survive. Local food shelves and human service agencies are experiencing high numbers of people seeking help.

You can help the nonprofit agencies providing support to people who are struggling in this tough economy. In this time of great need, please give generously to the Greater Twin Cities United Way and its annual fundraising campaign.

Funds raised by the Greater Twin Cities United Way go to local organizations like our own Working Partnerships, the community services arm of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation.

Funding provided by Greater Twin Cities United Way helps Working Partnerships to directly assist union families and individuals in crisis.

The Working Partnerships Emergency Financial and Emergency Food Assistance programs received more than 500 visits from union members and families in 2011. The families seeking assistance experienced a range of critical emergencies, including layoffs, natural disasters, medical emergencies, and family instability and tragedy. Union members from the building trades, industrial trades, professional, and service industries were assisted by Working Partnerships’ programs over the last 12 months.

Our strong Labor/United Way partnership means that together we help union members in crisis with basic human needs like food, health care, housing, and financial and family stability.

Working Partnerships works closely with other nonprofit partner organizations — all funded by the United Way — to help union workers and assist them with basic and critical needs:

Family Means: Union members referred to Family Means work with this organization on household budgeting, credit repair, and financial literacy. Free financial assessments are provided to participants.

Fare for All Express: This program of the Emergency Foodshelf Network is designed to serve people who fall into the gap of not qualifying for a food shelf yet still cannot afford food for their families. Fare for All Express partners monthly with Working Partnerships to help union members and the community purchase low-cost fresh produce and frozen meats.

CEAP: Throughout the metro area, organizations like the Community Emergency Assistance Program serve different communities.  Union members in need who reside in the northern suburbs receive food, clothing, financial, transportation, and senior assistance. CEAP’s holiday program provides a welcome respite for children in families experiencing hardship.

St. Mary’s Clinic: When union members are without a job and/or without health insurance, St. Mary’s Clinic in Minneapolis is a place they can go to receive basic medical care — the clinic serves all those who do not have or cannot afford health insurance, regardless of location of residence.

Tubman: Domestic violence and family strife increase when the economy suffers — and families in financial distress often pay the price. We’ve seen too many union families affected by this pattern. Tubman’s shelter and other programs provide a safe haven and a way out for women, children — and men — who have nowhere else to turn.

All of these partner organizations — and many more — are funded by Greater Twin Cities United Way.

Our strong Labor/United Way partnership means that together we help union members in crisis with basic human needs like food, health care, housing, and financial and family stability.

In order for this valuable partnership to continue, let’s redouble our efforts and give back to our community and support our brothers and sisters when they need us most. Please join me in supporting the 2011 Greater Twin Cities United Way Campaign. Our union sisters and brothers in need this holiday season deserve our support more than ever.

Bill McCarthy serves on the board of Greater Twin Cities United Way.

 

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