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Lethbridge Operation Sock it to Em, a campaign by the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 290, concluded today with the presentation of 2,200 socks to representatives of five local charities.

The spirit in which we care for our schools has carried over to our community. The generosity people have shown is overwhelming, says Gail Petrie a caretaker at Park Meadows Elementary School and Treasurer of CUPE 290. We are making sure everyone has warm feet this winter, but the success of this sock drive has warmed all of our hearts, she said.

CUPE Local 290 members are caretakers with the Lethbridge School District # 51, Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Separate Regional Division #4 and the Palliser Regional School Division #26. The socks were collected over the past month with the help of students and staff at some 20 area schools.

As caretakers we are an integral part of the school, taking care of the buildings and the students and staff. And, as citizens we are an integral part of our community. We need to look after one another, said Petrie. Everyone has been incredibly supportive and generous. Our principals have helped out enormously with supportive events and by providing notices to staff, students and parents and the socks just kept rolling in, she said.

Various events like special sock days and sock hops help push the collection of socks along. The new socks will go to help the needy at Harbour House, the new Teen Shelter, the new Homeless Shelter, the Salvation Army, and Catholic Charities.

In addition to the sock drive, the union sponsors an annual Christmas Party with Santa for all CUPE 290 members and their families.


CUPE is Canada’s largest union with over half a million women and men who provide public services. In Alberta, CUPEs 26,000 members work in health care, municipalities, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, emergency medical services, social services and casinos. Visit our CUPE websites for more information www.cupe.ca and www.cupealberta.ab.ca.

For more information:
Pam Beattie
CUPE Communications:
(780) 484-7644 or (780) 288-1230 (cellular)