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CUPE donates 25K to PAB Salvation Army

From left: Ernest Green, CUPE NL Vice President; David Harvey, Salvation Army Port aux Basques; Sherry Hillier, CUPE NL President; and Theresa Gillam, CUPE NL Recording Secretary. – © René J. Roy / Wreckhouse Press Inc.

By René J. Roy Editor-in-Chief

PORT AUX BASQUES — Representatives from the Canadian Union of Public Employees in Newfoundland and Labrador presented a cheque for $25,000 to the Salvation Army on Wednesday morning, Nov. 16.

“We’re happy that we’re actually putting smiles on people’s faces here. I feel like Santa Claus,” said Cupe NL President Sherry Hillier. “But it’s been such an emotional whirlwind just talking to our members last night.”

Hillier said that in St. John’s they have been watching news reports about storm damage from Hurricane Fiona, but talking to members about what they’ve been going through offers a different perspective. Hillier learned the night of the storm that the local representative had lost their own home.

“I didn’t know how to respond. I wasn’t expecting it at all.”

By Tuesday, Hillier had called them back to let them know CUPE NL would be setting up a relief fund. Hillier also reached out to the national union, who donated $20,000.

“Our locals and divisions across Canada are actually sending us cheques. So we didn’t want to prolong it too long, so we waited six to eight weeks, and we got some funds. A healthy amount came in,” said Hillier. “We will be back again because cheques are coming in every other day, so when we get more funds we’ll come back out.”

CUPE gave another $15,000 to members, as well as food donations, including lunches for paramedics.

“And we’ll be back. That I can guarantee,” promised Hillier.

David Harvey of the PAB Salvation Army gave thanks and said that $5,000 will go towards the food bank, which everyone can avail of, while the remaining $20,000 will be directed towards local Hurricane Fiona relief efforts.

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