Turning t-shirts into totes on United Way Day at the Labor Pavilion

web.unitedway-fair-closeVolunteer fairgoers helped repurpose about 85 t-shirts into reusable tote bags for a Minneapolis food shelf yesterday during United Way Day at the Minnesota AFL-CIO Labor Pavilion.

“Most food shelves have a lack of bags to send food out,” Greater Twin Cities United Way volunteer coordinator Mary Smith said. “They never seem to have enough because bags aren’t something people think to donate.”

During planning sessions for United Way Day, AFL-CIO Community Services liaisons and United Way staff saw an opportunity to put the agency’s inventory of unused t-shirts from previous campaign events to good use.

Several fairgoers passing through the Labor Pavilion – many of them union members and their children – stopped to join the volunteer activity, which required basic scissors skills and took about 10 minutes. It was an opportunity, Smith said, to have a seat in the shade and support a good cause.

Each volunteer also counts towards Greater Twin Cities United Way’s goal of mobilizing 100,000 volunteers in 2015, it’s 100th anniversary year. “We’re at about 61,000 now, so we’re well on our way,” Smith said.

Labor unions and United Way have long partnered together in support of fundraising and volunteer initiatives that support communities across the U.S., including the Twin Cities.

Organizers plan to donate the tote bags to NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center in Minneapolis.

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