(Wood River, IL) - In the first collection of its kind, more than 4,400 union workers helped raise nearly $9,800 for United Way during a two-day construction giving initiative at the Wood River Refinery.

“We are pleased with all the contributions from the union workers at the refinery. Many of whom do not reside in this area, but have still chosen to donate to this initiative,” said Dale Stewart, executive secretary/treasurer with the Southwestern Illinois Building Trades Council. “We were also proud that all the business agents got on board with this worthy effort, which will provide funding to local nonprofit agencies for the needs of our communities. These agencies also assist the number of unemployed union workers and their families who have found themselves struggling with today’s economy.”

On March 24-25, the workers were given a donation envelope. Those envelopes were then placed in lockboxes at various gates throughout the refinery. Hundreds of envelopes were returned, filled with various amounts of cash and checks. These union workers are temporarily on-site at the Wood River Refinery, traveling from around the country for the project.

“This outpouring of support by the union workers is another example of the continued commitment we have from the people who live and work in this region,” said Gary Dollar, president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis. “United Way invests a million dollars into this community every week to fund programs and services at local agencies. We are helping to create a better environment for everyone today and for future generations.”

A check was presented today to Claudia Herndon, 2010 Campaign Chair of the Southwest Illinois Division, by Kevin Hamilton, business representative – Carpenters Local 377, at the division’s Auxiliary Board meeting. Hamilton also serves on the Auxiliary Board. Helping people and communities unites the United Way and the Labor Movement.

For over 65 years, United Way and Labor Unions throughout the United States have worked together by encouraging volunteerism and workplace giving to support agencies helping to improve the lives of people in our communities.

One out of three people living in this area is helped by a United Way supported agency each year. These services are helping family, friends, neighbors and co-workers become healthier, more stable and more self-sufficient. Provided Photo Information: (Left to Right) Kevin Hamilton, business representative – Carpenters Local 377, presented Claudia Herndon, 2010 Campaign Chair for the Southwest Illinois Division, with a check for $9,800, which represents the amount raised through the Construction Giving Initiative at the Wood River Refinery.

About United Way of Greater St. Louis

The United Way funds nearly 200 health and human service agencies located throughout a 16-county area in Missouri and Illinois. More than one million people in our bi-state community receive services that strengthen families, help the elderly, keep children healthy and safe, and build stronger neighborhoods. For more information, contact 618-251-0072 or visit www.stl.unitedway.org - http://www.stl.unitedway.org/ .

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