When you think of Steelworkers you probably think of tough men (and women) forging I-beams for a skyscraper, not a bunch of guys stenciling uplifting messages on the walls of a kids club.
But that’s one of the wonderful things that happened this week, when more than 800 United Steelworkers members took a day off from the USW’s first-ever Next Generation conference in Pittsburgh and did community service at eight non-profits around town. Six Boys & Girls Clubs were among those organizations that got some amazing TLC. We stopped by the branch in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood to check it out.
The USW NextGen group, which consists mostly of young union activists, traveled to Pittsburgh from across North America to participate in the conference. Caitlin Davidson-King, who is from Vancouver, Canada, said taking a whole day for community service was the right thing to do. “Werever we’re from, we’re very involved in our community. It’s not to make us look good as a union. It’s because we genuinely care about people.”
(Caitlyn, left, and her fellow volunteers found the bunny ears in a closet)
She was among the 220 volunteers who blitz-organized, painted, and cleaned up the Lawrenceville branch, which serves up to 70 neighborhood children a day with academic, sports and specialty programs. The organization serves over 7600 children and teens a year at their branches throughout the region.
(Volunteers sorted donated Christmas gifts, and made cards for a holiday event)
In four hours the volunteers did what would have taken staff nine months to do said Boys & Girls Club of Western PA‘s Vice President of Operations Melissa Fuller. “Even though [the volunteers] can’t see the kids, they can see the space, the equipment, and know they’re making a difference.”
“They’re having a massive impact, whether they know it or not.”
Great job, young Steelworkers in making a difference for some Pittsburgh kids you’ll never meet! If you’d like to get involved helping the Boys & Girls Clubs where you live, click here, then click on “find a club” and #StartSomethingGood.