USW Cares: 2017 District 11 USW Jefferson Award Winner, Local Union 105 Women of Steel

In the past year, Local Union 105 Women of Steel (WOS) raised more than $16,000 to help those in their community who needed it most. For their relentless compassion and giving, they are District 11’s 2017 USW Jefferson Award winners.

Local 105 WOS are very good at using raffles to maintain a cycle of giving. Co-Chairs Sandy Conway and Jane Bailey said that they are almost always selling raffle tickets to help one of the many different causes they support. Most of the raffles’ profits are donated depending on where the women see the greatest need. whether it's retirees, military veterans or seniors in the community.

“The seniors get forgotten about,” said Conway, “so we fill that need.”

The women do more than take care of the elderly, though. They raised $5,300 from bakes sales that went to foundations for breast cancer awareness & women’s heart disease; $3,300 from taco sales went towards replacing the homeless shelter’s roof when it was ruined in a storm; and $4,700 through quilt raffle ticket sales went towards helping homeless veterans and the less fortunate.

They ran item-collection and cash-donation drives that raised $1,000 to buy hygiene products for low income families plus donations of soaps, shampoo, lotion, etc.; $500 for “Senior Secret Santas” plus donations of blanks and personal care items on the seniors’ Christmas lists; and $1,000 worth of pet supplies and cash donations for the local no-kill animal shelter.

“We’ve had the highest level of participation in community service that I’ve seen,” said the President of Local 105 Brad Greves. “It’s great they get recognition for this work. The local supports it and understands the importance of bringing the union together, as group, to lend their skills and help others.”

The women often partner with their company’s salaried-employee volunteer group for certain projects, like placing flags at memorials and hosting a hot-dog dinner where the profits buy service dogs for veterans with PTSD.

“It’s good when we team-up with them,” said Conway. “It shows that we can work together and it doesn’t have to be a contentious relationship.”

“We really do try to help as many people as we can,” said Bailey. And it’s true; they never miss an opportunity to help someone out. They donate leftover food from fundraising dinners to a shelter, make sure elderly community members receive a present on Christmas and are always searching for new ways to help even more people.

If you know an individual or committee that does impressive community service like Local 105’s Women of Steel, tell us! Use the #USWCares hashtag when you post about it on social media, tag @Steelworkers, and nominate for the 2018 USW Jefferson Awards by clicking here.

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