·  by Media Release   ·  

Steelworkers Humanity Fund Contributes $50,000 to Support Victims of Wildfires in B.C.

TORONTO – The Steelworkers Humanity Fund is contributing $50,000 to the United Way’s BC Wildfire Recovery Fund, to provide immediate and longer-term support to victims of the wildfires in British Columbia.

Following record-breaking heat, more than 300 wildfires have been reported in the B.C. interior, triggering the mass evacuation of residents of surrounding communities. In Lytton and its surroundings, many have lost their homes to the flames. For them, there is a critical need for support and recovery efforts in the aftermath of this disaster.

Set up by United Way British Columbia and its local partners, the United for BC Wildfire Recovery Fund will provide grants to support those who are displaced or have lost housing, belongings and/or employment, suffered physical or mental health trauma, as well as for health and safety education as the result of the blaze affecting the region.

“Families, including some of our own Steelworkers members, have lost everything to the flames,” said Ken Neumann, President of the Steelworkers Humanity Fund. “As the wildfires continue to rage, we recognize that the needs are important and will unfortunately keep growing through the summer and we encourage others to donate to the recovery fund.”

“We are grateful to the Steelworkers Humanity Fund for this rapid and generous contribution of $50,000 towards our United for BC Wildfire Recovery Fund," said Michael McKnight, President and CEO of United Way British Columbia – working with communities in B.C.'s Interior, Lower Mainland, Central & Northern Vancouver Island.

"Labour unions have a long history of strengthening vital connections in communities and this is one example of how unions support their neighbours. Thanks to this donation, we will be able to provide more wildfire recovery initiatives across the province,” added McKnight.

Founded in 1985, the Steelworkers Humanity Fund is a registered charitable organization that focuses primarily on development projects and emergency aid in developing countries, but also supports Canadian communities. USW members contribute to the fund through clauses negotiated into collective agreements. In some cases, employers make matching contributions to the fund.

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For further information:

Ken Neumann, President, Steelworkers Humanity Fund, 416-544-5951
Doug Olthuis, Executive Director, Steelworkers Humanity Fund, 416-859-9953, dolthuis@usw.ca
Shannon Devine, USW Communications, 416-894-7118 (cell), sdevine@usw.ca

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