November 2011 Issue
October 25, 2011

30 locals, 300 volunteers, 100 buildings

Source: NYSUT United

Union members across the state continue to dig deep to help members and their communities. In Rockland County, the Pearl River TA donated $500 and the Rockland County TA donated $300 specifically to help with housing costs. Pearl River TA retirees raised more than $2,000.

A Schoharie TA-led effort to insulate structures in the Schoharie Valley included 300 union volunteers from more than 30 NYSUT locals. The United Federation of Teachers brought direct aid and more than 40 volunteers.

Mahopac TA paid the travel expenses for 14 volunteers from the lower Hudson Valley to help.

"I knew what to expect in terms of installing insulation," said Dave Gordon who teaches eighth-grade social studies in the Mahopac schools in Putnam County. "What I didn't expect was how much devastation I would still see almost two months after the flooding."

About 35 volunteers helped install insulation at the Harva Co. Business owner Susan McGiver said her employees have been working for six weeks cleaning and salvaging whatever they could. The factory makes plastic products for the electronics industry and has contracts with companies such as Lockheed Martin and General Electric.

"This is a phenomenal gift and makes a huge difference," McGiver said. "I think we may be able to have some production within two to three weeks."

Schoharie Village Clerk Leslie Price said 401 total structures were severely damaged there. The cost to rebuild is estimated at $30 million.

"And that's just in our area," Price said. "Of course, an effort like this from the teachers helps so much."