Local 1214 Donates $1,500 to Aid Puerto Rico Relief Efforts

For Immediate Release
Dec. 15, 2017

New Britain, CT – The members of AFSCME Local 1214, representing 80 state employees at Charter State College and the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium, donated $1,500 to the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain (CFGNB) to help grow the organization’s Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Relief Fund.

Local 1214 members Cathy Bergren, Paul Morganti, Nancy Taylor and Adeline Yllanes presented the union’s donation to CFGNB President David Obedzinski and CFGNB Office Manager/Scholarship Associate Kimberly Duncan.

“We are grateful to the members of AFSCME Local 1214 for their generous and thoughtful contribution” Obedzinski said. “This fund is a great way for people in New Britain and the surrounding communities to support the more than 3.4 million Puerto Rican citizens ravaged by Hurricane Maria.”  

Immediately after the storm hit Puerto Rico, CFGNB joined with the American Savings Foundation and the Human Resources Agency of New Britain, which promotes economic self-sufficiency for individuals and families, to launch the Hurricane Maria Fund.

According to Obedzinski, 70% of the dollars raised through the Hurricane Maria Fund will help those who are suffering on the island, while the remaining 30% will be distributed to local programs helping those displaced by the disaster.

“We’ve been following the devastation that Hurricane Maria has caused since it struck Puerto Rico in September,” said Taylor, who chairs the union’s charitable contributions committee. “Supporting the Community Foundation’s hurricane relief effort gives us the opportunity to keep our donation local while reaching out to people on the island.”

Yllanes’s husband is from Puerto Rico, and a majority of his family is on the island. He is currently in San Juan for his job, but is also helping with relief efforts on the island.

“When Hurricane Maria hit, the devastation was tangible,” Yllanes commented. “Donating to the Puerto Rico Relief Fund was a huge gesture to help not only those on the island but to those here who needed to be heard and wanted to help in as many ways as possible,” she continued. “Sending that financial contribution was a metaphorical abrazo, that hug, that we needed to feel from our loved ones suffering on the island.”

Local 1214 has maintained a steady charitable presence in the community, supporting a wide range of organizations including the Connecticut Children’s Medical Foundation, the Pathways/Senderos Center, the St. Francis Hospital Foundation and more.

“The needs of people in Puerto Rico, and those who have been displaced, are beyond imagination,” Morganti said. “It’s an honor for us to give back to the communities we serve as state employees and higher education advocates.”

Click here if you’d like to donate to CFGNB’s Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Relief Fund.

Photo: L-R: Kimberly Duncan and David Obedzinski of CFGNB accept a donation from AFSCME Local 1214 members Cathy Bergren, Nancy Taylor, Paul Morganti and Adeline Yllanes.

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