Over Labor Day weekend strong winds swept through Oregon, transforming already hot and dry conditions in the cascades into a tinderbox. Within days wildfires spread quickly across the region causing unprecedented damage, loss of life, and upending the lives of tens of thousands.
Since 2017, our Union has operated a Wildfire Assistance Fund to help members who are impacted by fire season. Up until this year, it was a small program that, fortunately, only impacted a few people. That all changed in 2020. When this year’s wildfires hit communities across the state the need was unlike anything we’ve seen.
Requests for assistance flooded in. To date more than 400 SEIU 503 members have asked for help and received a check from this fund, totalling more than $58,000. These funds have been provided by donations from more than 120 individuals, as well as dues money donated to the fund by our Board of Directors and sublocal leadership.
When times are tough, our Union pulls together.