In the wake of the massive storm and subsequent power crisis that walloped Texas in early February, two IBEW 1245 organizing stewards reached out to the 1245 Organizing team, expressing a desire to help the impacted union members in Texas.
“I don’t think anyone knows, but I was born in Texas. As a manager at my previous job, I had even contemplated moving back there,” said Lead Organizing Steward Donyale “Donny” Davis. “As the weather conditions in Texas worsened … I began noticing a lot of posts and pics on social media of the horrific damage that was caused. At that moment, I started thinking of ways I could assist.”
Davis expressed his desire to help our union brothers and sisters in Texas during a 1245 virtual organizing meeting, and later that same day, Organizing Steward Karla Scott sent an email asking how we could raise money for union families.
The IBEW 1245 organizing team, along with IBEW 1245 Business Manager Bob Dean, took up the task of finding active labor fundraising efforts that we could support. We connected with IBEW Local 520 Business Manager Ben Brenneman in Austin, who told us that his local had set up a GoFundMe to help their members with grocery store gift cards. He mentioned that many of their members had missed paychecks due to the extended power outages, and with many pipes still frozen or out of service, bottled water was a critical need as well.
Our team issued a call to action to all of our organizing stewards, and in just 24 hours, we raised over $2,000, with contributions from 21 organizing stewards and six IBEW 1245 staffers. Thanks to this boost of support, IBEW local 520 quadrupled their fundraising goal, raising a total of $4,000. They distributed grocery store gift cards to 160 of their members on Saturday, February 27, 2021.
In a video announcement posted at the close of the fundraiser, Brother Brenneman gave a special shout-out to the staff and member of IBEW 1245, stating, “Your generosity made this possible, thank you very much! You’ve really showed what the meaning of brotherhood and solidarity is.” Watch the full video announcement below.
“This is a great example of the culture of solidarity we’ve built among our IBEW brothers and sisters,” echoed Staff Organizer Rene Cruz Martinez. “Our organizing steward program has instilled this sense of family when our brothers and sisters are in need.”