A group of young union members — part of IBEW Local 48’s Reach out and Energize Next-gen Electrical Workers, or RENEW—spent the last two months collecting warm clothes and blankets from fellow union members. On Dec. 19, a half dozen members of RENEW delivered two van-loads of items to the Union Gospel Mission in downtown Portland. The evening before, they washed and dried all the clothes at a local laundry. At the Mission, the electricians, many of them apprentices, sorted the clothes by gender and racked them by size. Later, they helped the Mission serve a warm lunch to the homeless.
IBEW volunteers were Brett Letourneau, Samer Obeid, Kennitha Wade, Kim Cole, Terry Reigle, Aaron B. Strong, and his girlfriend Kapuanani Foster, who works at the City of Portland.
RENEW was established in 2011 to inspire the next generation of IBEW members to become active in their local union by focusing on issues important to younger workers. The Local 48 group meets monthly at the union hall.