USW Cares: Local 6787 Helps “I Need a Hug” Program

Submitted by Allen Gipson

hug-logoUnited Steelworker Local 6787 participated, once again, in the United Way "I Need a Hug" program. In their second year, they were able to collect over 500 stuffed animals from members. Each stuffed animal was tagged with the USW logo and a note to the recipient letting them know that their gift came from the heart of a steelworker.

The United Way I Need a Hug program was developed in 2003 by the United Way Regional Volunteer Center in partnership with the Valparaiso University Softball Team. Throughout the year, new, small hug2stuffed animals are collected by businesses, groups, churches, book clubs, boards, and schools as well as local campus wide drives. These animals are given to the Guidance Counselors in our elementary schools to be used as counseling tools and to 1st and 2nd grade students to be used as reading buddies. Each student reads aloud to their "buddy" for a minimum for 15 minutes a day. United Way I Need a Hug is currently in 106 classrooms throughout Northwest Indiana.

For more information about the United Way I Need a Hug program, click the video below.

This project is just one of so many USW's amazing members do every day to give back to our communities. If you or your local are doing good things in your community, we want to hear about them. Let us know and share video and photos at and use the #USWCares hashtag when you post your stories on social media. Don't forget to shout out @Steelworkers!

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