AFSCME made a lasting impact on the city of Boston by contributing to the 2018 Convention service project, Rise Up in the Public Service. On Wednesday, hundreds of volunteers packed 5,000 I AM 2018-inspired backpacks for Boston’s underserved schools and school children.
AFSCME worked with Council 93 and the Heart of America Foundation, Inc. to outfit Boston-area kids with the tools they need for success.
The pencils, erasers, folders, a composition book and I AM history bookmarks (featuring inspirational quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) that were included in backpacks will bring a smile to children’s faces and will make their school day brighter.
And, as a special gift for students, delegates included copies of “Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968,” a new children’s book by author and Memphis public school teacher Alice Faye Duncan(illustrated by R. Gregory Christie). The powerful book imagines the strike through the eyes of a 9-year-old girl, Lorraine (Lorri) Jackson, who marches alongside her sanitation worker father and mother during the strike.
“My uncle, Walter Manning, was a sanitation worker,” said Ms. Duncan. “He joined AFSCME Local 1733 during the Memphis Sanitation Strike of 1968. Union membership is my family heritage, and I am honored to have AFSCME share my book with young readers in Boston.”
The Rise Up in the Public Service project showed that AFSCME members bring their Never Quit attitude wherever they go.
“Public service is not just a job for AFSCME members – it’s who we are,” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders. “Here in Boston, and in neighborhoods across the country, AFSCME members take pride in giving back. Whether it’s on the job or during personal time, AFSCME members are everyday heroes who never quit on their communities.”
Bursting with the AFSCME spirit, members outdid themselves like never before. Honors for the most backpacks filled went to:
- Tomasina Degree, Local 266, AFSCME Maryland: 262
- Belinda Devall, Local 2620, California: 253
- Keith Hess, Local 1902, California: 216