From District 13: Thank You to All Who Contributed Assistance to Hurricane Victims

Every horrific natural disaster has a positive underside: People go out of their way to help others get their lives back together. Hurricane Harvey was no exception.

The storm affected thousands of USW members and their families from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Lake Charles, La. The logistics of getting help to everyone may seem overwhelming, but the USW sprang into action immediately.

USW members took their personal boats and rescued others in the community. District 13 and the International used social media to request financial donations and supplies. Companies donated funds and supplies as well.

“We have had an amazing response from locals throughout District 13 that have donated and delivered supplies for their Brothers and Sisters,” said John Link, Assistant to District 13 Director Ruben Garza. “On top of working and caring for their families, our local union leaders and members are pulling together to get the word out about assistance and to help one another in this difficult time.”

The District 13 office in Baytown, Texas, was fine, but water flooded the homes of administrative assistants Carol Boggs, Yesenia Alfaro and Janelle Johnson.

At first, financial donations and supplies were gathered at the District 13 Sub-District 3 office in Baton Rouge, La., which had not received damage. The relief effort expanded to Texas and Louisiana locals not affected by the flooding. In addition to the International’s fund, USW District 13 Council also set up a fund to help District 13 members impacted by the storm.

Below is a partial list of the following locals that contributed money and supplies as of Sept. 9:

  • USW District 13 Council
  • USW Local 1148 Texarkana
  • USW Local 895 Dallas/Fort Worth
  • USW Local 620 Gonzales, La.
  • USW Local 750 Norco, La.
  • USW Local 13-12 Baton Rouge, La.
  • USW Sub-District 3 Office, Baton Rouge, La.

Additional Support

At the Women of Steel Level II training on Sept. 12-13 at the Local 620 hall in Gonzales, La., attendees brought supplies and donations for the Harvey relief effort.

Members from Local 620 collected and delivered two trailers of supplies on Sept. 20 to the Local 13-836 hall in Orange, Texas for members affected by the hurricane and flooding. Local 620 also cooked for the members in the Orange area that day and helped with cleanup at the Local 13-836 hall.

Local 13-447 headed to Local 228 in Port Neches, Texas, on Sept. 20 with supplies, and the local cooked for union members in that area who received storm damage.

Local 750 brought supplies to Local 227 in Pasadena, Texas, and cooked for the members in the area.

Link thanked District 13 Women of Steel Coordinator Dianne Babin, Local 620 President Jordy Richardson, Local 13-447 President John Gros, and Local 750 President Marty Poche for making the Sept. 20 events possible.

Collecting Supplies

As of Sept. 5, the following local union halls opened up to assist our members affected by Hurricane Harvey. Also, supplies were delivered there:

  • Local 13-1, 2327 Texas Ave. Texas City, coordinator Larry Burchfield, 409-771-0635
  • Local 227, 704 East Pasadena Freeway, Pasadena, Texas, coordinator Marcos Velez, 832-640-4301
  • Local 13-2001 311 South Highway 146, Baytown, Texas, coordinator Ben Lilienfeld, 832-373-9754
  • Local 13-423, 1500 Jefferson Dr., Port Arthur, Texas, Hoot Landry, 409-548-0153

As of Sept. 5, the following two locals, as well as locals in Orange, Evadale and Silsbee, Texas, were picking up supplies from the other USW halls for their members as needed because floodwaters were still present:

  • Local 13-243, 2490 South 11th Street, Beaumont, Texas 77701, Hoot Landry, 409-548-0153
  • Local 228, 1609 Port Neches Avenue, Port Neches, Texas 77651 Rick Erpelding 337-348-9442

In addition, supplies were delivered to:

USW Baton Rouge Sub-District Office
5723 Superior Drive, Suite B-1
Baton Rouge, LA 70816

USW Local 13-895
3626 Marvin D Love Freeway
Dallas, TX 75224-4449

The following supplies are still needed and can be delivered to the above addresses: Water

  • Powerade/Gatorade
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Paper Plates/Cups/Utensils
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Body Wash
  • Toilet Paper
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
  • Towels
  • Mops/Buckets
  • 18-gallon plastic totes
  • Canned Goods
  • Baby Diapers/Wipes
  • Gift Cards (Gas/Visa/Food)

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Wayne Ranick at 412-562-2444

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor Jim McKay

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222