USJE Local 00143 has brought some cheer to a Kingston, Ontario family this holiday season in an annual charitable program that aims to make a direct, positive impact in their community.
For the third year in a row, USJE members at the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) Ontario regional office have combined charitable money set aside in their Local budget with their own donations of money and gifts for a Kingston family in need.
Local Treasurer Janelle Bucci said that the Local and its members have long given money to charities but that by giving to a family in the community, they can see the direct impact of their donations.
“We wanted to do something that was a little more personal,” Janelle said.
Members submitted the names of families they know who are in need, and the Local Executive decides on the family, guarding their privacy by not revealing their identity to the members.
The Local gave the results of their first collection – $535 in cash, and $250 in gifts and gift cards – to the family last week, with more donations continuing to come in. This week, the family will get more gifts as well as a turkey and all the fixings for Christmas dinner.
This year’s family was taken completely by surprise, and wrote an emotional letter of thanks to members, saying how touched they were.
“This is truly a Christmas miracle,” the letter said. “Nobody has ever done something like this for me before, and I can’t even fully comprehend it yet. It means so much just to know I was thought of.”
Janelle said that giving during the holidays was important to the Local as members reflected on how extremely fortunate they were in their own lives.
She said it was also important to do this work collectively as a union.
“When we are together, we are able to do incredible things, whether that be employment related or community related.” Janelle said. “As a whole, we are a very powerful group.”
USJE is dedicated at every level to help strengthen the communities where we live and work. We draw our strength from our communities. When they thrive, the union thrives.
To learn about the donations USJE makes at the national level, see our USJE Donations page.