Union work provides good wages and stable benefits throughout the Pacific Northwest, but some union households can struggle during the holidays. Thankfully, nonprofit organizations such as Labor’s Community Service Agency in Portland and the Puget Sound Labor Agency in Seattle aid working families in the region who are facing difficult times.

The Portland Local has supported LCSA’s Presents from Partners holiday event for years with donations of toys and gifts. In 2019, the local wanted to do more for union families in the Northwest, so it challenged fellow SAG-AFTRA members in the Seattle Local to donate more toys to the annual Puget Sound Labor Agency Children’s Holiday Party than Portland members could donate to Presents from Partners.

Over two weeks, Portland and Seattle members rushed to bring their donations to their respective nonprofit agencies, taking photos of themselves with the toys, puzzles and games they were providing. In the end, Portland was victorious — but the real winners were the more than 750 people from union households who benefited from the nonprofits’ holiday events. What does the winning local get for its victory beyond bragging rights? The Seattle Local Board has agreed to serenade the Portland Local Board with the Oregon state song at the upcoming Pacific Northwest SAG-AFTRA joint board retreat.

This item was originally featured in the SAG-AFTRA magazine spring 2020 issue.

Seattle Local President Rik Deskin with donations to the Puget Sound Labor Agency Children's Holiday Party.

National Board member Mary McDonald-Lewis poses for a selfie with donations to the Presents from Partners holiday toy drive.

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