EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE TO PUERTO RICO!!

It is understood this is such short notice, but National Human Relations Director, Sue Carney is calling for our help.

The APWU received the attached memo from the AFL-CIO Wednesday morning. We are being afforded a very small window to collect food, water and other items to help our members and coworkers in Puerto Rico, who as you know are without safe drinking water and have limited access to food since Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

I realize this is very short notice, but I am asking locals that are close to the Seafarers International Union, located at 2604 S. 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148 to commit to the mission by doing the following:

  • Encourage members and fellow coworkers to donate items listed on “our” flyer (attached) between Sunday, October 22nd and Wednesday, October 25th; post on your website; email members.
  • Designate someone in each postal facility that you target for the food and water drive to post our flyer on union bulletin boards; distribute flyers to employees; leave copies in high traffic areas, e.g. break areas, swing rooms, locker rooms.
  • Designate individuals who can help box and seal donations as noted in the AFL memo for “Pennsauken, NJ” (Philly); attach a completed label, as described below, on all boxes to ensure they are received by the APWU Puerto Rico Area Local.
  • Designate individuals with trucks and vans to deliver the items to the Seafarers International Union no later than Friday, October 27th by 4 pm. (sooner is better – you don’t want to miss the cutoff)

A few other important notes:

  • All three sections of the “Box Label” (found on page 3 of the attached AFL Memo) must be completed in large print with a black sharpie and attached to each box.  In the “Supplies are intended for” section, check “members of our union”. List “Juan Carlos Gonzalez-Del Valle, APWU PRAL (787) 562-5266” as our contact who will be picking up the supplies.
  • The AFL has requested “other supplies” in addition to what we’ve listed on our flyer. We opted for the items we listed because food and water aren’t optional – they are life. Sticking to just a few items keeps things simple. These items are easily accessible and affordable for donors.
  • We also are encouraging items that are ready-to-use; that do not have to be mixed with water because it is in short supply, and that do not require cooking or refrigeration. Most households in Puerto Rico do not have electricity or gas to refrigerate or to cook food.
  • The attached APWU flyer is in Word. There are two sections that you must personalize:
    • Under “Accepting Donations” list the name of the postal facilities you are targeting; and the specific drop point – where you want members to bring their donations – we recommend the APWU Steward’s Office within each targeted postal facility because it is easy for members to access and we are not asking them to drive out of their way.
    • In the last section, insert the name of your local
  • Please check the dates on donated food items to make sure they are not expired. Do not ship items that exceed the expiration date. Do not ship jars, items that appear damaged, or that can melt, e.g. chocolate
  • Locals are also encouraged, where their by-laws or standing resolutions permit, to make food and water donations to this effort, as there is not enough time to get membership approval.

We hope you will join us in this important mission to help our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico. Don’t forget to let us know about your success and take pictures for us to share on our website. Please send your stories and pictures to my attention.

Your consideration and support is greatly appreciated.

In solidarity,

Sue

Susan M. “Sue” Carney
National Human Relations Director
American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO

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