Press Release: Thief River Falls RNs Conduct School Supply Drive for “Main Street”

25 Aug

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: John Nemo, MNA, 651-414-2863 or john.nemo@mnnurses.org

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minnesota (August 25, 2011) – Seeing children in their own communities suffering in the aftermath of the Wall Street financial crisis, nurses at Sanford Thief River Falls Hospital are spearheading a local school supply drive that will culminate with a special event on September 1, 2011.

“It has become a challenge for many of our schools to meet even the basic needs of our children,” said Amber Hawkins, RN. “Funding and programs continue to get cut to the bone, yet the folks on Wall Street who caused this financial collapse in the first place don’t seem to be paying for the damage they’ve inflicted upon the rest of us.”

Hawkins and other Sanford Thief River Falls nurses are members of the Minnesota Nurses Association, which is a founding affiliate of the 170,000-member National Nurses United (NNU), the largest nurses’ union in the country.

NNU recently began a grassroots, nationwide movement called “The Main Street Contract For America” campaign. Its goal is to convince national politicians – including Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, who represents the Thief River Falls area – to pledge their support for a new “Wall Street Transaction Tax” that would levy a tax on Wall Street trading of stocks, bonds, derivatives, currencies, credit default swaps and futures – the very type of financial speculation trades that led to the 2008 financial crisis and ensuing recession.

On September 1, 2011, nurses from Maine to California are holding more than 60 different events simultaneously, all of which are focused on highlighting the needs of “Main Street.”

“Our goal here in Thief River Falls isn’t to get into a political fight,” Hawkins said. “But we do support the idea of holding Wall Street responsible in a meaningful and significant way, and at the same time doing our best here in our community to help those in need.”

Nurses are encouraging their friends and neighbors to drop off school supply donations before September 1 in special designated areas at area businesses and organizations including Hugo’s, Super One Foods, Kmart and the Evangelical Covenant Church. School supply items needed include:

·     New or gently used playground equipment
·     New underwear and/or socks for K-2 students
·     USB Flash Drives
·     Headphones
·     Scotch tape (without dispenser)
·     Masking tape
·     Construction paper (red, yellow, orange and green colors)
·     Multi-function calculators
·     Backpacks

From 3-5 p.m. on September 1, Hawkins and other Thief River Falls nurses will sort, stock and prepare to deliver the donated materials at Challenger Elementary School (601 County Road 61) in Thief River Falls. Hawkins and other nurses will be available for media interviews during that time.

“First and foremost, we want to come together as a community on behalf of our children,” Hawkins said. “At the same time, our nurses are standing up with our brothers and sisters across the country to call attention to what’s going on over on Wall Street, and what needs to be done in order to help this great country begin healing financially.”

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