St. Paul unions donate 127 winter coats to students in need

St. Paul Regional Labor Federation President Bobby Kasper (third from right) delivers more than 100 coats to staff at Project REACH, St. Paul Schools’ homeless-outreach initiative.

St. Paul Regional Labor Federation President Bobby Kasper (third from right) delivers more than 100 coats to staff at Project REACH, St. Paul Schools’ homeless-outreach initiative.

The Jean Jones Coats Initiative, an annual winter-clothing drive sponsored by the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation’s Labor Studies & Resource Center, had a record-breaking year, donating 127 new or gently used coats to homeless students in the St. Paul Public Schools.

St. Paul unions and union members contributed $3,683 to the initiative this year, more than 10 times the level of contributions made last year.

The Jean Jones Initiative, named for a now-retired St. Paul teacher and RLF delegate, is entering its second decade.

“We are extremely happy about this year’s participation and would like to thank the participants who made financial contributions,” St. Paul RLF President Bobby Kasper said. Contributors included:

Boilermakers Local 647, Bricklayers Local 1, Cement Masons Local 633,  Laborers Local 132, Heat and Frost Insulators Local 34, Iron Workers Local 512, IBEW Local 110, Elevator Constructors Local 9, Operating Engineers Local 49, Millwrights Local 548, North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, Pipefitters Local 455, St. Paul Building and Construction Trades Council, and Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 10.

Individual donors included Bernadine Engeldorf, Karen Riebel and Mary Sansom, as well as delegates to the St. Paul RLF who participated in a collection taken at the annual holiday party.

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