WASHINGTON—Scores of kids from McDowell County, West Virgina will attend week-long 4-H summer camp programs this summer, thanks to a $5,000 donation to Reconnecting McDowell by United Steelworkers’ “Women of Steel” committees.
The 4-H camp in McDowell, run by the West Virginia University Extension Service, has a day program for children ages 5-12 and residential program for children ages 9-18. The theme for this summer’s camp is “Green Brick Road,” which focuses on the 4-H tradition of courage, heart, head and home. Activities include learning new skills such as archery, cooking and photography. Older campers have the opportunity to discuss teen issues, including drug abuse, relationships, money management and planning their futures. Healthy lifestyle classes and STEM courses (science, technology, engineering and math) also are offered.
The Women of Steel program started more than 20 years ago to motivate and educate women within the steelworkers union to become more active in their union and communities. Women of Steel leaders in West Virginia—Karen Shipley and Heather Anderson—said the $5,000 will allow at least 50 McDowell kids to attend 4-H camp who otherwise would not have been able to participate.
“This $5,000 contribution will make summer a fun and constructive time for so many kids. This type of community partnership exemplifies the work of Reconnecting McDowell to improve the lives of children and families in McDowell County,” said Christine Campbell, president of AFT-West Virginia.
Reconnecting McDowell is a public-private partnership launched in December 2011 to reinvigorate the schools and communities in McDowell County. Visit www.ReconnectingMcDowell.org.
All around America, labor unions sponsor charitable programs in their communities. For a small sample of those efforts, read “This Thanksgiving (and every Thanksgiving) Unions Are Giving Back” here.