Juan Campos and Local 705 Members Invest in the Erie House Community
December 15, 2015 | Chicago, IL
Local 705 has supported numerous Erie House programs, including the TEAM mentoring initiative. MEDIA MADE GREAT
The day Juan Campos’s mother moved to Chicago as a single parent with five children, Erie Neighborhood House was the first place to which she was referred. There she received assistance searching for affordable housing as well as access to employment services. After securing a place to live, she enrolled her children in programs at Erie House.
“I grew up on Erie Street,” says Campos. “I spent most of my childhood at Erie House.” He recalls the profound impact this made on him, emphasizing the important role community organizations can play in the neighborhood. “I told myself if I was ever in a place to return the favor or pay it forward, I would do it,” he explains.
Today Campos works for the United Parcel Service and serves as Secretary-Treasurer for Teamsters Local 705, a role he has held for the past four years. Most notably, he has made good on that commitment to give back to other families in the Erie House community.
In 2015, Local 705 made countless in-kind donations and financial contributions to support programs at Erie House. The union sponsored field trips for participants in the TEAM youth mentoring program, installed fans in the gymnasium, provided a Thanksgiving dinner for Erie House families and even took several “critical need” families on personal shopping trips as part of the Holidays with Heart initiative. Earlier this month, Erie House staff celebrated its annual holiday party in Teamster City.
The Teamsters have also pledged to provide food for YOU and TEAM activities in the upcoming year, and Local 705 will begin partnering with Erie House to offer free English as a Second Language classes to union members in good standing who are seeking to improve their language and literacy skills.
Campos is especially proud of the fan installation. “One of the things I remember from my childhood was how hot it was in that gym,” he says with a chuckle.
“We feel so much gratitude for the generosity Local 705 has shown Erie House families,” says executive director Celena Roldán. “It has been a difficult year for everyone in the nonprofit community due to the state budget, but the real victims of the impasse have been our families. When a group like Local 705 steps up and takes care of families in need, it brings us hope.”
Campos believes the generosity is simply coming full circle.
“When I became an officer for Local 705, I said, ‘Let’s see what we can do to help out the community.’ We need to make sure we are making an impact on the lives of individuals and families in our neighborhoods,” says Campos. “I wanted to make Erie House the place where we started doing that.”