Posts Tagged ‘GoFundMe’

Local 18 member passes from COVID

Our union is in mourning after losing Jose “Joe” Alfaro, a member of SMART Transportation Division for more than 15 years, to the COVID-19 pandemic on Nov. 13. He was 58 years old.

Brother Jose Alfaro of Local 18 in El Paso, Texas, a 15-year SMART-TD member, died from COVID-19 on Nov. 13, 2020.

Brother Alfaro was a member of Local 18 in El Paso, Texas, and worked as a trainman/brakeman for Union Pacific.

He leaves behind his wife of 22 years, Ruoana and four children: Avan Brian, Mia Brianna, Vanessa and Robert.

An online fundraiser has been established by Local 18 Secretary & Treasurer Catarino Montero with the proceeds going to benefit Brother Alfaro’s family.

“His wife and kids wanted us to thank you from the bottom of their hearts for your prayers and donations. She is grateful for everything you all have done,” Montero wrote on the GoFundMe page. “We personally wanted to thank everyone for all your donations and help during this time. At the end of the day, we are all a railroad family and unite to help one another out, and during these tough times it has really shown!”

When asked to describe Joe, co-workers shared:

“Joe always would show up to work with a smile and a genuine greeting, so even if you were having a bad day, he always seemed to bring out the best in you.”

“He was a great switchman and better friend.”

Follow this link to contribute to the GoFundMe campaign.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there are currently no plans for a memorial service. In lieu of flowers, donations to the fundraiser would be appreciated.

SMART-TD offers its sincere condolences to Brother Alfaro’s family as well as his union brothers and sisters in Local 18 and beyond.

GoFundMe opened for member shot while on the job

On July 22 of this year, Local 1715 member Karen Taylor was shot five times in broad daylight while her Charlotte Area Transit Systems (CATS) bus was stopped to unload passengers.

“…just as the last person stepped off of her bus, a man appeared out of nowhere and shot five times into her bus,” Taylor’s daughter, Latavia Clark, wrote on a gofundme page opened for Taylor. “All five shots struck my unsuspecting mother in her head, neck, shoulder and ear. One bullet and bullet fragments are still lodged in her skull.”

Taylor has already had four surgeries and is facing more in the future. The road to recovery is expected to be a long one and the bills are adding up as Taylor’s worker’s compensation claim has been denied.

Click here to donate or to leave your well wishes.

Fundraiser established for Local 1929 member and family

Sad news was reported out of Local 1929 (East St. Louis, Ill.) with the passing of Layla Lynn Thomas, the 2-year-old daughter of member Craig Thomas, after a sudden illness.

Layla was rushed to the emergency room March 18 and diagnosed with Influenza A. Her condition developed into a rare condition called necrotizing encephalopathy. After more than a month in intensive care, she passed away April 23 with family at her side.

Thomas, who just joined SMART Transportation Division in January, has not been with Kansas City Southern long enough to qualify for vacation, FMLA or personal time. An online fundraiser at GoFundMe.com has been established to assist Thomas and his family in this time of unimaginable grief. A donation of up to 30 personal leave days for members to help Thomas also has been established by General Chairman Sam Habjan in cooperation with the KCS labor relations manager.

“This will take quite some time for Craig to be able to return to work,” said Adam Zink, 1929’s local chairperson. “It would be great to have railroaders help him in his time of need.”

LCA Secretary Barela injured; GoFundMe account opened for donations

Barela

Just after midnight on April 11, BNSF Railway LCA Secretary and Local Trustee Carlos Barela sustained life-threatening injuries while switching in the Belen Yard in New Mexico.

Local 1168 Local Chairperson Tanner Griffitt and other local chairpersons have organized a GoFundMe account on Barela’s behalf. The page states that due to the severity of his injuries that Brother Barela may never be able to work or provide for himself or his family again.

Click here to visit the GoFundMe page.

Member needs our help with son’s medical bills

 

SMART Transportation Division Local 278 member Kyle Jones and his wife Samantha received devastating news Jan. 14, when their seven-year-old son Ayden was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APML). This is an extremely rare cancer for someone as young as Ayden.

The cancer was found after Ayden had been taken to urgent care with symptoms of the flu. The urgent care thought he had pneumonia and suggested that Ayden be taken to a children’s hospital in South Bend, Ind., where he was diagnosed with APML.

In order to get the best care possible, Ayden went to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis where he started chemotherapy and was placed on a high risk treatment path for APML due to the high number of leukemia and white blood cells found in his system. The path, at its shortest – if everything goes to plan, will include 9 to 12 months of intensive chemotherapy and bone marrow testing.

The early stages of recovery are the most dangerous for Ayden. The cancer cells in his bone marrow have stopped the production of blood clotting agents and the cancer cells in his blood are sending signals to clot throughout his body. Because of this, Ayden is at a high-risk for strokes and does not have any way to stop bleeding. If Ayden can make it out of this window of risk for clotting and bleeding, APML has a 100 percent cure rate. Thus far, Ayden has been responding well to the treatments.

“As a father who has had to deal with both a serious medical issue with one of my children, and as a cancer survivor myself, I understand the mental, physical and financial battle that has been put in front of this family,” said Jerry Gibson, SMART TD’s Michigan state legislative director.

“I was fortunate enough to have so many friends, family and strangers step up and assist with donations and prayers. Knowing you have the support of others allows the family to focus on the important task at hand – getting their loved one healthy and home. Please consider donating to this cause so that Kyle and Samantha can get Ayden back home.”

As you can imagine, this type of care and the need for his parents to be at Ayden’s side pose a significant financial burden, but the generosity of others can help alleviate it. Please do what you can to help Ayden and his family in their time of need.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the Jones family with the financial burden caused by Ayden’s illness. Click here to donate to the GoFundMe account.

Tshirts in support of Ayden (approved by Ayden himself) are also being sold and all proceeds go directly to the Jones family. Sizes range from YXS – 3XL and cost $25. Click here to buy a tshirt.

Click here for a printable flyer.

SMART TD’s Jeff Duris passes away; family and friends express thanks for support

Duris

Jeff  Duris, a member of Local 322 in Milwaukee, died on Saturday evening, July 1, 2017, surrounded by family, reported Local Chairperson Bob Alba.

Jeff was diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease on June 19, 2017. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is an incurable and fatal neurological condition.

Chairperson Alba set up a GoFundMe Account on behalf of the Duris family. The account remains active.  All donations will be used by the family to help cover medical expenses and other financial needs.

Click here to help the Duris family financially during this difficult time.

Private funeral services were held.

SMART TD member victim of shooting

Jephthe Chery_Fotor

Chery

It wasn’t unusual to see commuter rail conductor Jephthe Chery at work seven days a week as he tried to rise quickly in the company, former colleagues say.

Coworkers described Chery — who died after being caught in crossfire early Thanksgiving outside a Fenway Park bar — as a friendly and tireless worker always game to pick up an extra shift. Police called Chery an “innocent” who was felled by bullets intended for someone else.

Sheldon Dowling, who used to clean commuter rail coaches with Chery, said his close friend didn’t want to be the only one with ambition: He pushed friends and relatives to follow his lead.

 Read more from The Boston Globe.

Chery Family prepares for funeral

A wake for Chery will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at St. Angela Catholic Church in Mattapan, said the Rev. Gustave Miracle. His funeral will be at St. Angela at 9 a.m. Saturday, followed by a gathering in the church basement.

Read more about Chery’s funeral arrangements from The Boston Globe.

GoFundMe account set up to help with funeral expenses

The GoFundMe account has been set up by Chery’s childhood friend to help defer the costs of a funeral. The GoFundMe page reads: 

“My name is Charldyn Valcin, and I met Jephthe in middle school, and years later, he still remained like a brother to me. Jephthe was a great man, dedicated son, phenomenal big brother, hardworking conductor, and an amazing Godfather. Truly, the list can go on and on, because he touched so many individuals during his time on this earth. I, and others who care about Jephthe, are looking to raise this money in order to help his family with the costs of his home going services. Jephthe left an impact on so many of our lives, and now it is our time to tell him thank you! We really need to get the funds as soon as possible, in order for his family to be able to move forward. Please donate whatever you can.”

Click here to make a contribution to the Chery family.

Chery worked as a conductor for MBTA and was a member of SMART TD Local 898 of Boston.