THANK YOU to our generous sponsors: USW Local 593, Aurubis, Running Warehouse, Shoes that Fit, USW District 4, 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East, CSEA Local 815, and the NYS AFL-CIO! This event would not be possible without their support.
Labor Day is a time for us to reflect on our movement’s legacy of fighting for the rights of workers and the power of strong communities. Each year we honor that work by hosting a community giveback event designed to deepen our roots in service to those families that need it the most. Last year’s event on Buffalo’s East Side in the aftermath of the 5/14 Tops massacre was so successful and well-received that we have decided to set our sights even higher in 2023. This year we are thrilled to launch Hit the Ground Running, a back-to-school event for K-8 students that will provide kids in need with a free pair of sneakers so that they can kick off the school year the right way: Ready to learn and stay active!
We are excited to be partnering with Buffalo Public School 198, International Prep (formerly Grover Cleveland High School), located on Buffalo’s Lower West Side, which counts many immigrant and refugee students among its diverse population.
While the Lower West Side is a vibrant, multicultural community, it is also an underserved neighborhood with significant needs. 41% of households in this zip code earn less than $34,999 annually, and nearly 38% of households have used SNAP or food assistance within the past twelve months. We know that back-to-school shopping places a strain on working families, especially in a neighborhood where 65% of households led by a single mother are below the poverty line. At the same time, kids’ shoe prices are rising across the country, with recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicating that kids shoe prices are up 12% compared to this time last year.
Some of our affiliates, like NYSUT, are already doing the hard work of supporting students' success. We know that students need their basic needs met before they can achieve academically, and we know that taking away this one financial and learning barrier for a student in need can make a lasting difference. Join us in giving back to our community by asking your union to donate shoes or financial support to this event! We are also accepting donations from individuals. You can do so by contacting our field coordinator, Austin Morgan, at firstname.lastname@example.org.