For many Minnesotans, an April blizzard means holing up at home for a few days until the weather passes. But for Minnesota’s union electricians, it’s just another day of volunteering. Despite record-breaking snowfall, over 20 members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Locals 110 and 292 braved snow-covered roads to help provide struggling veterans a supportive place to live.
The organization is called the Eagle’s Healing Nest, a non-profit that provides veterans a place to live and the resources, support and treatment they may need to recover from the invisible wounds of war. With locations in Sauk Centre and Anoka, it provides housing and healing resources to dozens of Minnesota veterans.
Its Anoka location is expanding, as renovations wrap up on the fourth cottage that will house around 25 female veterans. As the last details fell into place, Eagle’s Healing Nest found it short on labor to wrap up the last of the electrical work for the cottage. IBEW had previously volunteered with another cottage for the organization, and they knew they had members willing to help. While members consistently come out to volunteer, union members have a particularly soft spot in their hearts for veterans. “When you tell them it’s for veterans, our members really show up,” said Jennifer Gaspersich, a business representative for IBEW Local 292 and volunteer at the event.
Over 20 members of IBEW braved the April snow to install over 60 light fixtures, and when they noticed the receptacles could use replacing, they donated and installed over 100 receptacles as well. Soon, around 25 women will be able to call the new cottage home. “Eagle’s Healing Nest was really grateful,” said Gaspersich. “They were impressed by how quickly we could get a group in there.”
As the new facilities open, we’re proud of the union volunteer hours and donations that made it all possible. Thanks to all the union members that make it part of their mission to make a difference in the lives of others.