More than 300 SMART sisters, allies and leaders gathered during the 2022 Tradeswomen Build Nations Conference in Las Vegas for a SMART Army service event, creating paracord bracelets for military servicemembers. The effort served as a powerful reminder that SMART’s union solidarity always extends beyond our membership.

Paracord bracelets, also known as “survival bracelets,” are made from durable paracord strands that can be repurposed to meet an enormous range of needs, including carrying gear, creating makeshift pulley lines, hanging tarp, suturing wounds and much more. That utility makes the bracelets an ideal accessory for active servicemembers. Beyond that, though, paracord bracelets serve as an ever-present morale boost — a reminder, for those deployed, of the countless Americans back home who support soldiers and veterans

The SMART Army’s bracelet-making event, which specifically benefited Soldiers’ Angels, took place following a SMART reception on Friday, October 28, with members from across North America — spanning rank-and-file union sisters, local leaders and international leadership — putting in the hard work to benefit those who serve. By the end of the night, the SMART Army had created 357 bracelets: a staggering number that illustrates our union’s commitment to honoring those who sacrifice for us.

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SMART Transportation Division Local 60 at Newark, N.J., has scheduled a motorcycle bike run for Saturday, July 16. Proceeds from the bike run will go to support the charity, Railmen for Children.
The ride is open to anyone who wishes to participate. The cost is $20 per rider, $15 per passenger and $15 for non-riders. Registration is from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The ride will begin at 11 a.m. and will start and end at the Tramontin Harley-Davidson, 482 Hope Blairstown Rd., Hope, NJ 07844.
Riders will be escorted by the Blue Knights NJ 8. Food and entertainment will be provided after the ride.

About Railmen for Children

New Jersey Transit conductors and train engineers established Railmen for Children 30 years ago to bring joy to special needs and less fortunate children each year. Today, Railmen for Children conducts fundraising activities throughout the year in order to fund a Santa train.
Every year Railmen for Children invites local schools and organizations consisting of less fortunate and handicapped children on a Santa train. Teachers ask the children to write Christmas wish lists to Santa; those letters are then delivered to Railmen for Children. Railmen for Children does everything in its power to grant the wishes of the children and Santa delivers the gifts to the children on the train ride.

Click here to see a flyer for the event.
For more information on the ride, email
Click here to view the official Facebook page of Railmen for Children.

SAN FRANCISCO — In this city, horribly devastated by HIV and AIDS, 24 members of UTU Local 1741 here are participating in a 565-mile bicycle trek to raise funds for support services and HIV prevention efforts.
Twenty-four members of the school-bus local, under the leadership member Beau Thomson, have participated in the event since 2005.
This year, 28 members of the local have formed their own cycling team, which will ride more than 565 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles over seven days as Team United First, which comes from a combination of United Transportation Union and their employer, First Student.
The team’s goal is to raise $100,000 from contributions. Already, $11,000 has been raised.
Most of the members of Team United First will ride bicycles, but others will serve as roadies, helping riders train and providing support services for the full week of the trip.
“In 2005, I was someone who smoked two packs of cigarettes a day,” Thomson said. “I was overweight and hadn’t done anything athletic in years. This year, I will train and ride with coworkers I’ve known for years. To see them experience this first hand will be priceless.”
Local 1741 President Sharon Wheatley said, “I enjoy helping people, and this ride seems like a good way to join the fight against AIDS, and to experience with some of my co-workers the fulfillment of working together on a fun and productive project. I have wanted to [ride] since 2005, and this is finally the year for me.”
Members of Team United First include Thomson, Wheatley, Marina Acosta, Chris Alexander, Kelly Beardsley, Sheila Bickerstaff, Marilyn Brown, Rosalie Carrico, Gerry Cooper, Lois Correa, Barb Donovan, Kathleen Duffy and Shelby Hall.
Also, Shane Hoff, former member Chris King, Sherrie Klein, David Kush, Terrance Levingston, Rina Luna, Gerardo Martin, Mario Ortiz, John Reardon, Rivas, Renee Roberts, Gabe Rocha, Julio Ruano, Emily Taormina and Dexter Thomas.
To make a donation, visit Select “Find a Participant” and enter “United First” in the team name space.