June 22nd, 2024

CUPE Local 70 delivers holiday cheer to charity

By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on December 21, 2022.

Looking to give back to those that provide aid to the less fortunate, Lethbridge’s CUPE Local 70 delivered $2400 worth of gift cards to organizations in need on Friday.

The Lethbridge Food Bank, Interfaith Food Bank, Lethbridge Soup Kitchen, Salvation Army, and the Angel Tree initiative were among those to receive the donations, chosen for the work they do giving back to the most vulnerable in the community this holiday season.

“We have done this many years in a row now. But this year, it was the same initiative but a bit different,” said Andrew Chernevych, spokesperson for CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) Local 70. “We decided instead of just sending a check, we would do gifts cards and three of our members went to all those charities and donated to them in person. Extending the greetings in person with the holiday season.”

Looking to spread a bit of holiday cheer to those in need of the funds, CUPE wanted to give back to those who give back to the community.

“It was wonderful, we located the manager or the person responsible for the whole operation and surprised them. They didn’t know about the visit, so it was a Merry Christmas and happy holidays with the donation from CUPE Local 70,” said Chernevych.

Helping give back to the community, CUPE makes sure they pay-it-forward during this time of year.

“At membership meetings there was a motion to donate to those charities up to $500, because that is the limit we can do. It is usually the same amount and same organizations yearly,” said Chernevych. “The donation is through the membership funds. We, the union, collect the dues from all the members, they go to our general funds, and that is where it is donated from. No special fundraiser, it is a motion to donate which has become a tradition around this time of year.”

Understanding the importance more than ever this year, CUPE is happy to help those struggling with inflation.

“Obviously we have done it for many years, there is a general understanding in the membership that it is important for various reasons. It is a very tangible impact making a difference for those organizations that provide for vulnerable people,” said Chernevych. “Especially this year, we know all the stories in the media about food prices going up so many percentage points. That is particularly important this year to donate to those organizations, the food prices are high but it is also in demand for those services. They are being drained with more demand and higher prices for the food they provide. We know that they feel the pain, so it is important for us to continue supporting them.”

With donations helping keep supplies on the shelves, this year’s donations from CUPE will help make the holidays a bit easier for organizations working with the community. “We are so glad that we did this year in person,” said Chernevych. “This way we connect with those local organizations. We are so glad that we can help and establish this personal contact.”

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