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If you're a positive soul and you take a look around the country right now the response to those most affected by Hurricane Sandy can reaffirmed your faith in the inherent goodness of the human race.  

The neighborly, familial help delivered from stranger-to-stranger has been overwhelming nationally and even more demanding in the areas most  affected.  Immediately after the storm members of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) Local 252, many of whom are involved with the Finishing Trades Institute (FTI),  gathered their families and began collecting items to help their storm-worn region. They've been giving what they have in terms of time, clothing and food to ease the burden.  

A Wednesday night Nor'easter further hampered cleanup efforts, so Local 252 kicked its efforts up a notch, asking all of its members to give their time this weekend on behalf of the New Jersey Shore communities which got absolutely pummeled.

This Saturday between 9AM and 12PM members are asked to stop by the union hall (2980 Southampton Rd., Philadelphia, PA 19154) to donate diapers, baby formula, water, Advil, Tylenol, batteries, blankets, clothes and whatever else is available.

Giving back to the community is an essential part of the union experience.  It defines the brotherhood and sisterhood for many.  The instantaneous response by Local 252 to organize in the face of grave needs is refreshing in an era of photo-op volunteerism.

Despite attempts in recent years to portray unions as thuggish and "all about politics" (of course, the people who do this had their behinds handed to them on Tuesday), members know that it is about honor and the community.  

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