Due to the devastation wrought by wildfires and COVID-19, Labor’s Community Service Agency (LCSA) will sponsor two Presents From Partners giving events this year: the original one in Portland and a new one in Southern Oregon.
For more than two decades, LCSA has hosted the popular holiday party at Sheet Metal Workers Local 16’s hall in Portland, distributing gifts to union families facing tough times. Over 40 unions and 200 volunteers are involved, and some 350 kids and 200 parents from labor and the community at large participate. They enjoy a hot meal provided by Spin Catering, a visit with Santa Claus, a bag full of toys, handmade Christmas stockings, grocery gift cards, a “Parents Room” for kids to pick out a gift for their parent or caregiver sponsored by the IBEW & United Workers Federal Credit Union, a used clothes boutique, and more.
Because of COVID-19, this year it will be a contactless drive-through event at Laborers Local 737’s hall in Northeast Portland.
The toy drive itself was canceled due to safety concerns, but a fall fundraiser was hugely successful, so LCSA has funds to buy toys. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Federal Credit Union also donated $15,000 worth of toys.
“We will be serving up to 900 children from 300 union families this year,” said LCSA Executive Director Eryn Byram.
And, thanks to a large financial donation from the labor law firm of McKanna Bishop Joffe, LLP, LCSA is planning a “holiday caravan” from Portland to Central Point to deliver some holiday cheer to union families in Southern Oregon. The catastrophic wildfires in September impacted thousands of union and community members across Jackson, Josephine, and Douglas counties, with more than 100 union families losing their homes.
The plan is to load up the Teamsters’ 18-wheel semi-truck with toys, box food items provided by Spin Catering, clothes from the IBEW and United Workers Federal Credit Union collection, hand-sewn Christmas stockings, and other goodies and deliver them to Central Point the first week of December.
There, the Southern Oregon Central Labor Chapter will make arrangements for families to drive by and pick up the gifts. Logistics are still being worked out, but for more information, contact labor chapter chair Amanda Sager at president@ iatse154.com.
To participate in the Portland event, union members need to contact their local to receive a referral. The deadline to refer is Monday, Dec. 7. For more information, call LCSA at 503-231-4962 or email director@LCSA portland.org.
Gift Card Drive: Due to COVID safety concerns, LCSA is not conducting a toy drive this year for PFP. However, they are looking for gift cards to pass out at the events. Mail any gift cards to LCSA at 9955 SE Washington St #301 PDX 97216.