·  by Mary-Marta Briones-Bird and Kristy Bard, USW Local 1998

USW Cares: USW Local 1998 Women of Steel's Holiday Drive Update

*This story is an update from the original story posted on November 14, 2018, and can be found here.*

USW Local 1998 Women of Steel Committee put out a call for toiletries donations at the University of Toronto (UofT). Over 35 USW members stood up to be ‘hub captains’ and collection boxes were creatively decorated and distributed across the downtown campus, Mississauga and Scarborough campuses, Victoria University and University of Toronto Schools. Departments and Faculties ranging from Dentistry, Medicine, Information Technology, Political Science, Philosophy, Music, Math and Aerospace all participated. 

More than 50 volunteers not only hosted collection boxes but also used their lunch hours to drop off donations, sort through and package donations into bags, delivered donations and encouraged their colleagues to get involved. USW staff members and their families, UofT students, and the broader UofT community all pitched in to make contributions to the drive. 

"Kristy and I went to Sistering today to drop off some of the gift bags, we could see how excited the women were to be receiving a personal gift bag just for them filled with dental care, shampoo and conditioner, gloves, hats and socks and other personal care items.  It is very rewarding at any time of the year but particularly around this time to give back, not only on a practical level but also because these are our neighbours and we need to look out for each other," Mary-Marta Briones-Bird, Women of Steel Co-Chair, USW Local 1998.

Total donations in volume were 100 personal gift bags plus 10 bankers boxes (sorted by type of toiletry such as dental or hair care.) Based on a value of $100 to $150 per bankers box of toiletries donations, the estimated value of donations received is between $3,500 and $5,000.       

Donations have been delivered to: Herizon house in Ajax, Interim Place in Mississauga, Sistering in Toronto West, Red Door Shelter in Toronto East. We are planning to drop off more donations to a youth shelter in January    

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