Steelworkers sign on for greater cause

Following a success story outside of Kamloops, local Steelworkers unions have formed a new relationship with the Trail and District United Way.

United Way and union host dinner for needy

Following a success story outside of Kamloops, local Steelworkers unions have formed a new relationship with the Trail and District United Way.

After hearing about a successful affiliation between Steelworkers in Logan Lake and the United Way – where Teck matched the $325,000 raised by the Steelworkers last year to give to the organization – Trail’s Local 480 and 9705 have decided to follow suit.

“We thought we’d like to do more,” said Gord Menelaws, health and safety chair for Local 480.

The groups partnered for the first time Friday, preparing a meal for about 100 people in need who heard of the gathering through word-of-mouth or other service organizations like the Salvation Army.

“We thought it was a fabulous idea and this is one of the feedbacks that we got from a survey we did,” said executive director Trish Milne, referring to a questionnaire that asked residents to rate priorities like child care and affordable housing to provide direction to the organization keen on creating social change.

“A lot of community partners wouldn’t exist without the money that they get from United Way,” said Trail councillor Eleanor Gattafoni Robinson, calling Sanctuary an example of a real success story.

The organization that offers a safe haven for kids after school took its name off the list of needy organizations in 2009 after about 10 years of financial support from the United Way.

The United Way shared $54,000 last year with many under-acknowledged organizations that struggle to serve the community.

With help from the two unions, the organization will strive to continue to provide support even through tough economic times.

“We’re very grateful that this partnership has developed,” said Gattafoni Robinson, who also volunteers with the organization. “These are the faces in the community, they do so many wonderful things that words can’t express.”

The dinner was the kickoff for the new relationship that will strive for success by asking employees to sign up for a payroll deduction plan in support of the United Way, while giving back with free lunches and other community events.

To see this new bond come to fruition, a representative from both Steelworkers unions will sit on the United Way board.

Valerie Rossi photo

Volunteers gathered Friday at the Trail United Church to help host the first ever dinner for those in need put on by the United Way in conjunction with local Steelworkers unions, which covered the cost of the gathering.