Local works to meet community needs

This year, after the recent natural disasters around the nation, our Local and Joint Council hit the ground running to help. In September, Local 853’s own retiree Ron Valdez, organizer Steve Bender, and Trustee Mike Fritz drove the big rig straight through to Texas after Hurricane Harvey, loaded with water and other much-needed supplies. Not long after they got back, they had to load up the truck again with supplies to help the victims of the tragic fires, right here in our own backyard.

Photo of members shopping for charityWhile we’re always ready to respond to tragedies, as Teamsters, we’re also here to help those in our own community. For several years, our “Sisters in Solidarity” (SIS) committee has raised funds at the Membership Appreciation meeting for the Oakland’s Eastmont Garden of Hope. Located in East Oakland, the program is part of Alameda County Social Services, and it serves victims of domestic violence, as well as those struggling in low-income jobs, or living on the streets.

Rome Aloise makes sure that the Local matches the donations that come from our members. On December 2, SIS members Pam Gaskill and Lynn Door and I took $2,500 to Costco Redwood City to buy the items most needed— diapers, clothing, and non-perishable food. We approach the day with total elation, like kids in a candy store.

Photo of Eastmont Garden of Hope

On December 8, we delivered the goods. Many thanks to Organizers Rodney Smith and Steve Bender for jumping in and helping load the goods at the Local and unload them at Eastmont. And thanks always to staffer Jan Johnson for supporting the SIS committee.

Giving and helping others is something we are all capable of. You do not have to be wealthy to lend a hand, buy a cup of coffee, or just be a good friend to someone in need. I encourage everyone to pick a day and pay it forward to someone!

Thank you, Rome, for enabling us to reach out and help those in need!

Stacy Alvelais, Business Agent

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