Kroger Shop Steward Mike Belcher, Local 400 member Eddie Dempsey and Local 400 Representative Dale Burns.

A difficult year for West Virginia Kroger member Roy “Eddie” Dempsey is ending on a positive note, thanks to the AFL-CIO Community Services Agency, a charity strongly supported by Local 400.

In October, Dempsey’s house burnt down to the ground, leaving him with nothing. Currently, he is living with his mother in order to save money to purchase another home. That’s why the Community Services Agency chose Dempsey as one of its donation recipients from the Holiday Basket Program.

The Community Services Agency runs the Holiday Basket program every year, asking unions — national and local — to help by making donations of non-perishable food, money or gift cards, or to “adopt” a family and provide toys, clothes, gifts, food and funds for them.

As union members, we are all in this together and we all look out for one another, during the holiday season and all year long. The AFL-CIO Community Services Agency is one important way we do that. Local 400 is pleased that Eddie Dempsey received a helping hand from the agency and he can count on all of his brothers and sisters to help him get back on his feet and into a new home.

Mike Belcher, Dempsey’s shop steward at Kroger store 813, brought his plight to the attention of Local 400 representative Dale Burns, who nominated him for the program.

“Our brother has worked at Kroger for 33 years,” said Burns. “We are so grateful that Eddie is receiving the assistance he needs and deserves this Christmas.”

Dempsey was “adopted” by the AFL-CIO Safety and Health Department, which contributed the lion’s share of the donation he received. Overall, the agency has helped approximately 45 families with items and funds totaling well over $22,000 this year.