Union colleagues across the country are grappling with the loss of hundreds of lives and widespread destruction to homes and schools from an onslaught of tornadoes and rising water this spring.
Nearly 300 people died in Alabama, the state hit hardest by tornadoes. Eighteen schools were seriously damaged by the storms; some are a total loss. Schools in Georgia also were ravaged, causing some students to finish the year in a new school.
The story is repeated in North Carolina, Missouri and Tennessee. Meanwhile, record spring floods along the Mississippi River and in New York state and Vermont are destroying property and threatening homes.
NYSUT, through its Disaster Relief Fund, is committed to helping members and colleagues in times of need. Our union has recently donated $10,000 — $5,000 each to AFT Alabama and the NEA-affiliated Alabama Education Association — to assist in the recovery efforts from the recent storms and flooding.
But more will need to be done, and you can help. Send a check, payable to NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund and noting it as Storm Relief in the memo line to: NYSUT Headquarters, Attn: Jeff Lockwood, Accounting Department, 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, NY 12110, or donate online at www.nysut.org.
Contributions are tax-deductible.
Since its founding in 2005, NYSUT's Disaster Relief Fund has distributed hundreds of thousands of donated dollars to help, for example, victims of hurricanes, including Ike, Katrina and Rita; severe floods in the Southern Tier; snowstorms in Buffalo; and the people of Haiti who were rocked by a devastating earthquake last year.
"The generosity of our members is a true testament to our collective compassion for those in need," said NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi.