I made a trip down to the airport Friday morning to hand out gift cards to help TSA employees buy gasoline and necessities. Buried in the news about the government re-opening was the fact that employees for many agencies, including the TSA, still have to wait a couple of weeks for their next check.
People from across the community, from labor unions to churches, did some great work to support federal employees during the shutdown. After hearing about the TSA workers, I called Charles Sparks, who runs our local TSA, and asked how I could help out.
TSA workers had a special hardship. Not only did they have to work during the shutdown, but because they work at the airport, far from where many of them live, they had to struggle just to gas up and go to work. Since they are still waiting for a paycheck, this is still a problem for them.
I partnered with the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona and collected donations from O’Reilly Chevrolet, HSL Properties, Nova Home Loans, Finley Distributors and Crest Insurance so we could purchase cards that can be used at Quik Mart. The cards can be used for gas and maybe that little treat for the kids that’s been put off for the last couple of weeks.
Mr. Sparks told me that TSA employees here did not engage in the sick outs we saw in other cities. They were willing to do an important and often thankless job with only the promise of compensation. I’m glad we could bring the community together to help support them.
In other re-opening news, Saguaro National Park re-opened on a limited basis this week. I got a notice from Saguaro thanking the community for their support during the shutdown. There are no interpretive or educational programs scheduled right now, but I’ll make sure to post on both my web page and on Facebook to keep you all up to date. Saguaro is a unique gem in our Tucson community and I’m glad to see things getting back to normal out there.
If you are looking for an interesting way to help out our police department, there is an on-going and opportunity to volunteer their time as Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center training role players.
To become a volunteer, you need to attend a workshop at the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center at 10001 S Wilmot Road (South of I-10) on Friday, February 15 from 6 – 9 pm.
During the workshop, you will learn about what Reality Based Training Volunteers do and how to join the team.
You can register at jointucsonpd.org.