The children at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund Clinic are enjoying a jollier holiday celebration than usual, thanks in part to the more than $27,000 union construction and trades workers collected for the institute’s annual Winter Wonderland.
The donation helped deck out the more than weeklong Wonderland for children being treated for cancer and included visits from Santa, gifts, arts and crafts and holiday meals.
The workers are building a 14-story, 275,000 square foot, state-of-the-art outpatient clinic and research center next to the Jimmy Fund Clinic. The Yawkey Center for Cancer Care is set to open its doors in early 2011.
This fall, Mike Morgan, with Plumbers and Pipe Fitters (UA) Local 537, posted a flier on the job site asking the workers to donate an hour of their salary to the kids at the clinic. The money started rolling in, and the donations are continuing, says Morgan.
It was amazing how much money we raised, when we presented the check they expected about $500, but we raised more than $27,000 and the money keeps pouring in. We are so happy to be able to help in any way and it is just a small way to help these children.
Many of the union craftspeople are closing out their work at the project. Some even knew they would have no more work after the project, but wanted to help anyway.
Lisa Scherber, director of activities for the Jimmy Fund Clinic, says the clinic was shocked at the amount the workers were able to raise.
Our mouths dropped when they handed us the check. Now we have money not only for the Winter Wonderland, but for programs and gifts throughout the year for the children. It is also amazing to see such a giving spirit in these tough economic times, especially in the construction industry, but the union construction folks have always been generous and willing to help. These programs bring such joy to these children facing cancer.
Frank Callahan, president of the Massachusetts Building Trades Council, says the generous donation is
just one of the examples of how the union building trades members not only do high-quality work on projects, but give back to the communities in which they work. The building trade unions and their members have been helping out many charities during these tough economic times.
In March, we reported how workers on the Yawkey Center project were helping raise the spirits of the Jimmy Fund kids. Each day, young cancer patients would write their names on posters and place then in the clinic’s windows. The members of Ironworkers Local 7 would spray paint the names on the I-Beams before hoisting them into place as the children watched. Says Morgan:
We want the children to know that we were thinking of them at the beginning of the project and we won’t forget about them and will keep them in our hearts when the job is finished.