The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 16, 2012

Labor council, United Way join in helping veterans

Dave Sutor
dsutor@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — A local facility for veterans needs a lot of little things – from soap and toothbrushes to coats and sheets – to help troubled vets in their times of need.

So, the Johnstown/Somerset Labor Council and United Way of the Laurel Highlands recently teamed together to gather some of those necessities as part of a statewide AFL–CIO community service project called the Pennsylvania Wants to Work Day of Action.

They collected more than 1,300 items and $1,800 for Tomorrows Hope, a residential facility in Coalport.

Representatives from the labor council and United Way were scheduled to drop off the items at Tommorows Hope around

9:15 a.m. today.

“The veterans do a service for our country,” said Joe Oliver, the labor council’s executive vice president. “They’re fighting for our rights and our freedom every day. For them to come home and be treated the way they are is not nice.”

He said the collection effort was “a lot of work.”

“We had a lot of different members involved from different unions,” he said.

The 88-bed facility offers transitional housing, counseling and transportation for veterans. It works in conjunction with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers in Altoona, Lebanon and Butler.

Lending a helping hand to Tomorrows Hope is the latest way unions and the United Way have worked together locally to assist the community.

“Organized labor has always encouraged its members to work with the United Way,” said community services liaison Sue Stevens of the Laurel Highlands chapter.

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO called for the day of action as a way for its members to assist unemployed individuals and their families across the commonwealth.

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