United Steelworkers deliver blessing bags to homeless in Appleton

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 6:43 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Some help for the homeless in Appleton as members of the United Steelworkers in town for a conference dropped off blessing bags at a local shelter, with many bags expected to go to kids.

That drop-off site was at the the Pillars shelter, near the city’s downtown.

Five hundred blessing bags filled with personal hygiene items were delivered by female members of the United Steelworkers hoping to make difference as they recognize the 101 year anniversary of women’s suffrage.

Women of Steel coordinator Tonya DeVore said, “Part of what we do when we come together is we do an action, and we chose Pillars today to do our action. We’ve collected these blessing bags from all over the states of Michigan and Wisconsin. All of our local unions donate money and product so that we can create these bags.”

One of the other recipients is the Appleton Area School District, where they keep a list of students who might benefit.

District Administrator Pamela Franzke said, “Last year we had over 360 students that were experiencing homelessness, and these kinds of things that people donate so generously really help our students and our families so they have no barriers in coming to school and getting an education.”

The hope is to have the bags delivered to all of those in need within the next few weeks. Some will stay at the shelter. Others will go directly to the school district.

“These are people just like the rest of us, and when they know there’s people out there who care about them it gives them dignity and it gives them hope,” added Lisa Strandberg, Pillars Community Engagement Officer.

For those giving, it’s a great feeling to help out even if it’s a small contribution.

“These women here have found their voice, and we’re very passionate about families and women are protected, and we do what we can to do our part to make sure they have a better transition than what they would have had if we hadn’t supported them,” DeVore said.

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