United Way and organized labor have been partnering since 1941.

Organized labor has an active role at the National level, serving on the national board helping to forward jointly held priorities. Their primary goal is to build better communities by creating impactful and relevant programs that enable all community members to have access to opportunities to help all reach their full potential.

Locally, this partnership is active and involves representatives from many union organizations.  These organizations help to advocate for workers by participating in United Way leadership and committee positions to educating their workers about programs available to all workers regardless of workplace.  Organized labor and their support of volunteering, advocating and contributing make up a large part of our United Way’s success.

Our local partnership includes a staff member dedicated to the needs of workers and their families.  As a result, there are programming opportunities specifically designed to assist workers, communicate relevant issues in the work community, educate workers about the community service network and volunteer within our United Way structure to ensure the perspectives and concerns of workers and their families are included when creating impactful programs in Howard and Tipton Counties.

Giving to the community is a high priority of organized labor, from buddy bag partners, 75 in 5 Endorsement to Kindergarten Class adoption and advocacy for families in need. Organized labor is highly involved in the United Way serving Howard and Tipton Counties. Contributions from the labor community are a large part of our United Way’s success.

It is more that being a regular contributor to the campaign, organized labor is active in the United Way structure from the top down.  Rex Ambrose, USW International Representative has served as the United Way Board President since 2018, Weed Widup, President, UAW 1302 represents workers on the United Way Board and leads organized labor in helping to support children and teachers in the counties we serve. Union members also serve as Loaned Associates and workplace campaign leadership.  Members participate in volunteers projects, SUPPLIES and soon Adopt-A-Class, a new community wide initiative to support early learners and teachers.

You are invited to become part of the local union community service movement. Please join us as we work to create a community that helps worker’s and their families be all they can be!

Complete this form to receive information on how you can help or learn more about organized labor and United Way.

Labor Information Form

Unions Leading with United Way

Adopt-A-Class(AAC) is new for the 2021/2022 school year.  Now, more than ever, labor sees the need to support early childhood learning and the teachers in the classroom. The program has evolved from organized labor’s commitment to education since 1994.  Teachers need individual support, 90% of teachers spend their own money on classroom needs and many could use help with students during projects or even helping with a party or decorating the classroom.  Each student has unique needs and the teacher can see first-hand what that child needs, adopters can choose to help fill those needs. Bottomline: we need the community to step in to fill in gaps in the current structure. Our children deserve the best education and teachers deserve all the support in providing the best education. 

Labor has led in this area for over 25 years. First, SUPPLIES, this program involved the participation of over 20 union organizations annually to distribute school supplies to over 26,000 students since it started.  Three years ago, the K-Tote Program was born, this program began a focus on the classroom and teachers.  Every Kindergarten class in Howard County was adopted and volunteer groups worked with the teachers to ensure all classrooms had what they needed and teachers knew they had additional support as needed.

Now a new labor led venture is the Adopt-A-Class program.  Starting this current school year, United Way and Labor are partnering to build on the success of the K-Tote program. We are expanding to Tipton County for grades K-2 and expanding to include Pre-K to 2nd for Howard County Schools.

We hope to find adopters for every class!

*We would like to have each team or sponsor strive to make a two year commitment

* As an adopter for the 2021-2022 school year, contact your teacher to get ideas on ways to help the students, the teacher or the classroom.  Plan to have your first meet in January 2022 and then a second event would be held before the end of the school year.

  1. Get your team together- 4-6 people are the ideal size to be the direct connection to the class
  2. Review the list of available classes and select the one(s) you would like to adopt.  
  3. Select your class(es) and enter your team information (We will not share this information outside of United Way)
  4. Wait for confirmation with teacher contact information and congratulations you have class!
  5. Call the teacher to set up a time to talk about how you can help.
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