Helping others who are impacted by COVID-19

The global health crisis of COVID-19 has created an unprecedented amount of need for many of our neighbors, family members and friends across our city, region and state. Some people are not able to work, or have had a loved one pass away from this disease and are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Local 223 UWUA always rises to the occasion to help others since part of our mission is to create a more just and secure workplace and society.  

Local 223 UWUA encourages members to consider finding a way to give back during these difficult times to those who need it most. Below are some organizations around the region who are doing their part to help the most vulnerable in our society. Please consider volunteering to help or making a donation.

Gleaner’s Community Food Bank – Food banks are essential service providers. Gleaners continues to serve our partners and those in need during this unprecedented time. With Michigan in a state of emergency, schools and businesses closed, and our local governments mandating a ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives’ order for all residents, we want to ensure the public that Gleaners will continue to distribute food to our hungry neighbors.

Paula’s House in Monroe, Mich. – A positive homelike environment for women who are homeless and have substance abuse problems. Women with children welcome. Paula’s House current needs are deodorant, body wash, 2021 planners, journals, spiral notebooks and laundry soap. Items can be dropped off at 3580 S. Custer Rd (we’re across from the fairgrounds), Monroe, Mich. 48161. Please put attn: Lisa on the bag.

Alternatives for Girls – Based in Detroit, Alternatives for Girls helps homeless and high-risk girls and young women avoid violence, teen pregnancy and exploitation, and help them to explore and access the support, resources and opportunities necessary to be safe, to grow strong and to make positive choices in their lives. It provides shelter, prevention and outreach programs to turn their lives around. Consider a monetary gift, or an in-kind donation by sending items via Amazon due to COVID-19.

Neighborhood House – Based in Rochester, Mich., Neighborhood House walks the path toward self-sustainability with our neighbors during times of hardship and serves over 3,000 households per year. In 2019, our services included distributing 230,686 pounds of food, providing 1,166 children assistance with our seasonal programs (Holiday, School Supplies), 1,538 visits to our clothes closet and 468 rides. They also provided 37 bikes to our clients through a partnership with the Rochester Bike Shop. In the past year, volunteers contributed 15,684 hours. It relies on neighbors, both individuals and organizations, to help make these numbers possible.

United Way for Southeastern Michigan

DTE recently kicked off its United Way 2020 campaign virtually due to COVID-19 and lasts until Friday, Dec. 4. The campaign helps raise critical funds to support customers so they can keep the lights on, stay safe during hot summers and cold winters, and help our youth learn, grow and succeed. The most common reason that people call United Way’s 2-1-1 hotline is for utility assistance and to enroll in the DTE Low-Income Self-Sufficiency Plan or other assistance programs.  

United Way partners with more than 500 agencies in Michigan alone, trying to help those in greatest need. To participate, print out the pledge form to have the pledge automatically deducted from your paycheck. You can also choose donate through the online donation system called Stratus Live, which is located on the Quest homepage or go to You can make a secure online donation, designated to a specific United Way and approved agency.  

Dave Cafagna