How you can help
The devastation of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma has left tens of thousands of people in search of temporary housing. It is estimated that it will take years and billions of dollars to see any kind of recovery. Hit with gas shortages, skyrocketing prices for food and bottled water, looting and fraud, it’s impossible to imagine the emotional toll on the people most affected by the storms. Many have lost everything, and for them recovery may be a lifetime effort.
As of this writing, the death toll from the storm in Houston alone had risen to 37 as the latest statewide damage surveys revealed the staggering extent of the destruction. The Texas Department of Public Safety said more than 37,000 homes were heavily damaged and nearly 7,000 were destroyed. Over 325,000 people have already sought federal emergency aid in the wake of Harvey, while statistics concerning the impact of Hurricane Irma are just beginning to surface. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, residents were left without food and clean drinking water, putting them in a critical survival crisis.
And then Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico, destroying the electrical grid and causing untold suffering for our brothers and sisters there.
I’ve been asked what we as union members can do to help those in need during this difficult time. One suggestion that comes to mind is our contribution to the United Way. Here in Lansing, the Capital Area United Way is coordinating flood relief efforts through recovery funds created by United Way Worldwide. These funds will support local communities and the surrounding areas affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. 100% of individual donations given to these recovery funds will be distributed to the affected areas.
United Ways in the affected areas will continue to raise money locally and respond to emerging needs. The national fund will complement those efforts and provide a single clearinghouse for individual and corporate donors who want to impact all affected areas. This will go a long way in helping local United Ways meet storm-related needs and support long-term recovery throughout the affected regions.
United Way has always supported disaster relief efforts, partnering with the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and others. You can find out more by visiting www.unitedway.org/recovery. Also available through the United Way is a text-to-give option (simply text UWFLOOD to 41444).
One of the most depended upon charity organizations, the United Way helps millions of people by improving the quality of life for individuals and families in our communities and abroad. Labor has always been welcome at the table. I volunteer my time, as do other local UAW members, as a board member of the Capital Area United Way in Lansing. We see firsthand the positive impact volunteers and donors make in the lives of those needing a helping hand.
I encourage you to support the Capital Area United Way campaign in your worksite, or if retired to support this organization by volunteering your time and giving donations. Every little bit adds up to become an essential resource for those in need. Enough cannot be said for such a great organization, the Capital Area United Way is surely an organization worthy of our support.
Our endorsed candidates for the November 7 election appear in the box below. We would ask our membership to please consider your support in the best interest of working people in the entire Lansing area. The CAP Council goes into a screening process of each candidate who has asked for our endorsement. We ask about their positions on issues that concern working men and women. Also, community involvement and supporting labor issues. Thanks again in advance.