CUPE members’ commitment to their communities shone through in many moments of generosity and solidarity. In the wake of massive spring floods in Alberta, CUPE donated $136,850 to support relief efforts and help flood victims. CUPE National donated $25,000 to the Alberta Red Cross. CUPE locals contributed over $65,000 to flood relief organizations, and almost $7,000 in grocery store gift cards for displaced CUPE members. In addition, the union raised over $40,000 from individual members, CUPE Alberta, and CUPE BC to be divided among CUPE members in 22 flood-affected communities.
When the catastrophic rail disaster struck Lac-Mégantic in July, CUPE Quebec extended the support and solidarity of its members, including 30,000 inside and outside municipal workers experienced in relief and rebuilding efforts. CUPE Quebec donated $10,000 to a special assistance fund, and secretary-general Denis Bolduc travelled to the devastated community to meet with Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche. CUPE National contributed $25,000 to the rebuilding effort.
CUPE members at an Edmonton seniors’ home were deeply upset when the residents’ new karaoke machine was stolen just before Christmas 2012. The equipment had been paid for through fundraising, and there were no plans to replace it. CUPE 41 presented a new karaoke machine to the Edmonton General Hospital in April.
In August, CUPE 500 answered the call from Winnipeg’s largest food bank for supplies to help homeless people, providing 200 reusable water bottles to help people beat the heat.
In December, CUPE 255 donated $10,000 to food banks in Bruce, Grey, Huron and Wellington counties in Ontario. The money will go to 17 different agencies. CUPE 255 represents over 180 municipal workers in the region.
CUPE members on PEI raised just over $10,000 in two years for an Easter Seals campaign supporting children with special needs in PEI. The campaign involves Island schools, where CUPE education support workers work with special-needs children. The donation began with CUPE 805’s $1,000 donation and grew into a division-wide cause, with CUPE National matching the funds that were raised.
Municipal workers from 15 communities met in Quebec City in June for the 22nd annual inter-city and inter-union softball tournament. The event was hosted by CUPE 1638, Quebec City’s blue-collar workers. The tournament raised $12,000 for Opération Enfant Soleil, an organization that funds specialized care for sick children.