The Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Central Labor Council Adopts More Than 15 Area Families For The Holidays, Purchases $4,000 In Gift Cards ‘To Help Those Less Fortunate’ With Children Ranging In Age From Infant To Teen
WNYLaborToday.com Editor’s Note: The Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Central Labor Council has adopted more than 15 area families for the holidays, raising in the process $4,000 to purchase gift cards to help those less fortunate with children, ranging in age from infant to teen. Pictured above (on the left) is Bill Jakobi, who serves as the United Way of Greater Niagara’s Labor Liaison to Niagara-Orleans Labor Council, and Labor Council Board Member Sean Nevins (on the right), representing the Wilson Teachers Association. (Photos Courtesy of United Way of Greater Niagara Labor Liaison Bill Jakobi)
(NIAGARA FALLS, NEW YORK) – Through the generosity and monetary donations of Labor Unions and their Members, the Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Central Labor Council has raised $4,000 to help more than 15 needy area families with children ranging in age from infants into their teens.
For more than the past 15 years the, Niagara-Orleans Labor Council has been adopting families for the Holidays, raising in the process close to $50,000, Labor Council President Jim Briggs, who serves as Sub-District Director of United Steelworkers (USW) District 4, told WNYLaborToday.com.
“When the environment in our community ‘creates a short-fall for too many people, the Labor Movement remains there to try and fill that gap.’ And now, with a pandemic, ‘it created another hurdle, but not one that we were going to let stop us to put some smiles on kids’ faces.’ ‘That’s what it’s all about,’” he said.
Bill Jakobi, who serves as the United Way of Greater Niagara’s Labor Liaison to Niagara-Orleans Labor Council told Your On-Line Labor Newspaper: “The Labor Council ‘truly believes that there is nothing better than seeing the smiling face of a kid on Christmas morning because of the gifts under the Christmas tree.’ ‘(The Niagara-Orleans Labor Movement is) all about bring the joy of the holiday season to those who are less fortunate than we are.’”
“This year, due to COVID-19, ‘we couldn’t go out and shop for Toys for the families that we adopted for the holidays.’ So we had our Union Affiliates collect or purchase gift cards ‘so the families could still go out and shop for their own kids for Christmas,’” said Jakobi, explaining the families adopted by the Labor Council were done with the help of the local YWCA’s Domestic Violence Program.
Each adopted family, depending upon its size, received between $200 and $250, Jakobi said. The cards were purchased from a number of area retailers.
Those Niagara-Orleans Labor Council Union Affiliates that participated in this year’s Adopt a Family for the Holidays drive included International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Locals 237 and 2104, the StarPoint Teachers Association and United Steelworkers (USW) Locals 6992 and 4-0277.
Briggs said he was proud of what the Niagara-Orleans Labor Council does to help area families in need, especially during the Holiday Season, and that he was “especially proud” of what his USW area Locals do in terms of giving back to the communities where their Members live, work and raise their families.
“Talk about ‘giving back.’ ‘I am so damn proud of our Locals in the area.’ ‘We support our local communities,’” he said.