APWU POWER: Sisters Helping Sisters
Campaign Supports Women, Children and Families in Need
(This article first appeared in the March/April 2013 edition of The American Postal Worker.)
Post Office Women for Equal Rights (POWER), the women’s committee of the American Postal Workers Union, established the Sisters Helping Sisters campaign in 2005, to help women and children who were left homeless following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. It was expanded in 2006 to give hope and encouragement to women, children, and families facing daunting life circumstances, such as domestic violence, neglect, financial difficulties, and homelessness.
In December 2012, APWU POWER donated $5,000 to worthy organizations that give aid and support to women and children in need. Contributions of $1,000 each were made to five homeless shelters — one in each of POWER’s five regions. POWER members raised the funds by selling T-shirts at the national convention and by collecting donations from POWER sisters.
“Domestic violence is one of the most serious issues facing women and children today,” said Joyce B. Robinson. “Physical abuse is the major cause of injury to women, resulting in more injuries than auto accidents, muggings and rapes combined.
“An estimated 50 percent of the women in homeless shelters are fleeing domestic violence, and many battered women do not have the bare necessities that we take for granted,” she said. Robinson is director of the Research and Education Department and serves as the national liaison to APWU POWER.
The shelters that received contributions are:
Eastern Region – YWCA, Richmond, VA
Central Region – Rose Brooks Center, Kansas City, MO
Northeast Region – House of Faith Ministry, Wappingers Falls, NY
Southern Region – Hannah House, Columbia, SC
Western Regions – Ronald McDonald House, Reno, NV
Postal Employees Relief Fund, Too
APWU POWER also made a $5,000 contribution to the Postal Employee’s Relief Fund (PERF), which it earmarked for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The donation was intended to support efforts to distribute food, medicine, and family survival kits to those in need during the winter holidays.
“Charity begins at home,” said Robinson.