Steelworkers in Hamilton boost Operation BackPack for schoolchildren


Published August 8, 2022 at 12:44 pm

A steelworkers’ union local in the Hamilton area is challenging colleagues from across North America to support Operation BackPack.

The steel industry in Hamilton is marking 10 years this summer of holding Operation BackPack in order to help families feeling the financial strain of back-to-school expenses. But the campaign has a more ambitious goal this time around. With the USW international convention opening today in Las Vegas, the Hamilton local have asked their brethren to chip in toward Operation BackPack’s GoFundMe, which has been organized by Darren Green, a longtime executive with the Hamilton Steelworkers Area Council.

“(We are) challenging all Steelworkers taking part in our International Convention to make a donation of $5 for this much needed campaign,” a tweet said.

Operation BackPack is aiming to raise $10,000 this year, which works out to buying backpacks for 2,000 schoolchildren in the city. Last year, it was able to support 1,250 children.

The fundraising pitch from Green also notes that there are likely more Hamilton families feeling a financial stress impact amid increased food prices, which have been driven by droughts and inflation.

“The need this year is even stronger than in the past because of the high inflation and high-interest rates,” Green wrote. “For many families juggling rent, food and utilities alone is putting them in jeopardy. For many children the backpacks will be the only thing new they have on that first day back to school.”

The GoFundMe has $1,200 so far toward its $10,000 goal.

The school year is scheduled to begin in 29 days, on Sept. 6.

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