A Helping Hand to Communities in Need

Holiday spirit is alive and well at SEIU Local 721. Members from all over Southern California organized and participated in toy drives and food distributions for families in need, open houses, community BBQs, holiday parties for abused and neglected children, and a major World AIDS Day commemoration–all in the month of December.
“Giving back to the communities in which we live and work is so important, especially during the holidays. The deep community partnerships we’ve formed are critical to the success of our union moving forward.”
-Harold Sterker, SEIU 721 Executive Board Member and Social Justice Caucus Chair

  • On Dec. 1, SEIU 721 members co-sponsored the 19th annual Noche de Las Memorias, an event to honor the work of Albergue Las Memorias AIDS Hospice in Tijuana, Mex. Members generously donated food, toiletries and toys for those living at the hospice.
  • Later that week, SEIU 721 Inland Area members came together to help Riverside families by holding a canned food and toy drive that ended with a joint union holiday BBQ at Fairmount Park.
“Riverside city workers have come together to collect food and toys for the needy in our community. Not only do we work in the city, but many of us live here and we all feel it is important to give back.”
-Enrique Barboza, RPU Field Service Assistant and Riverside City Chapter 2nd Vice President

  • On Dec. 14, SEIU 721 members sponsored a holiday party for patients at Gateways Hospital and Mental Health Center in Los Angeles. The next day in Montebello, members joined our community partner, Heart of Compassion, in hosting a Christmas food distribution program that gave groceries to hundreds of needy families in the region. 
  • Also on Dec. 15, members and their families enjoyed an afternoon of music and food at the Ventura office’s Open House, where children caught an early glimpse of Santa. President Bob Schoonover attended the event, along with Executive Board member and LA County Social Worker David Green. 
  • Christmas came a few days early for foster children at the LA County Dept. of Child and Family Services’ El Monte Office. SEIU 721 members, LA County Supervisor Gloria Molina and community allies sponsored a holiday celebration on Dec. 19. Members donated money, time and gifts to area children.
  • SEIU 721’s annual LA-area toy drive culminated in the Winter Holiday Party and Show, co-hosted by Hope Central Watts in the neighborhood’s 109th Street Recreation Center. Hundreds of children and their parents came to the celebration, which featured food, music and dance performances by local children, a toy giveaway and a special appearance by Santa. SEIU 721 members from Inglewood brought more than two dozen kids with the Inglewood Sportsman Little League to volunteer. 
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“I’d like to thank SEIU 721 President Bob Schoonover and Vice President Linda Dent for the privilege of participating in the toy drive. All the children from Inglewood were honored to serve the children in Watts.”
-Georgia Smith, City of Inglewood Administrative Aide