Page 14 - Work Force February 2017
P. 14

Hyde Park bus drivers deliver charity year-round
 HYDE PARK — While safety on the road is a CSEA-represented school bus drivers’ top priority, their trav- els give them a unique look at where help is needed most for the students in their care.
When bus drivers began talking about organizing a golf outing a decade ago, CSEA member Donna Van Leuven and her colleagues
in the Hyde Park Central School District realized that a day of fun could also help students in need.
“Someone just walked in one day and said we should do a golf outing,” said Van Leuven. “It eventually grew to include the whole community.”
This past December, Hyde
Park Kids in Need wrapped up a decade of fund-raising that ensured struggling families with students in the school district had a chance at college scholarships, holiday meals and presents under the Christmas tree.
Van Leuven, who was quick
to credit a list of co-workers as important partners in the endeavor, estimated the group raised $55,000 through golf outings, bowling tournaments and other fund-raisers over its 10 years.
As a result, district families in need received gift cards to the local Stop and Shop grocery store so they could shop for holiday meals. When the district’s Roosevelt High School held its graduations, the group had scholarships to lessen burdensome college costs. And when the holidays rolled around, Van Leuven and other bargain hunters ensured students had presents under the tree regardless of family struggles.
 Van Leuven
After a decade of busy fund- raising, Van Leuven has opted to end her efforts on a high note.
“Donna has been just amazing when it comes to fund-raising
and keeping this going,” said Unit President Shirley Turk. “You see some of these kids and know the families are having a hard time, but often parents are too proud to ask for help. We hope others will get
involved, step up and show the same dedication to our families in need.”
While their efforts meant students awoke excited on Christmas morning to learn that Santa hadn’t missed them, Van Leuven said she and her co-workers enjoyed the spirit of giving just as much.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” she said.
— Jessica Ladlee
CSEA members employed at Hyde Park School District’s Transportation Department gear up for their final holiday gift delivery.
 Lawrence on PEOPLE: ‘No excuses’
MANHATTAN — Wayne Lawrence returned from the 106th Annual Delegates Meeting in Washington D.C. pumped up for the PEOPLE program and it paid off.
new PEOPLE members.
He plans to recruit more PEOPLE
“I have a script for every excuse
people offer for not participating in the program whether you’re a retiree, been here forever or just started,” Lawrence said.
After strategizing with
Statewide PEOPLE Coordinator Denise Felt, Metropolitan Region PEOPLE Committee Chair Evans Quamina and CSEA Political
Action Coordinator Matt D’Amico, Lawrence got a list of participating and non-participating members and went straight to work.
When a local information day
was approaching, Lawrence spoke with his co-workers, urging them to sign up for PEOPLE.
He didn’t give up easily. For instance, if a co-worker declined to participate because he or she was about to retire, Lawrence responded by mentioning the permanent cost- of-living adjustment (COLA) that CSEA was instrumental in getting
for retirees, and noting that we need to fight to increase the COLA.
For new employees, Lawrence would discuss the importance of becoming active in our union and the Labor Movement as a whole in the months and years ahead.
For established workers,
Lawrence would address the importance of keeping what we have and fighting for what we need.
“We’re in for a bumpy road over the next few years,” Lawrence said. “PEOPLE helps us in our fight for working people.”
CSEA’s PEOPLE program protects and improves our jobs, benefits and pensions in Washington, Albany and in your community. Your support and participation in PEOPLE strengthens CSEA’s clout
in the workplace, in the legislature, in your community and in the labor
a mental health therapy aide who serves as 2nd vice president of the Manhattan Psychiatric Center in our Metropolitan Region, has been named the PEOPLE Recruiter of the Month for December, recruiting 10
— David Galarza
 14 The Work Force
February 2017

   12   13   14   15   16