PHILADELPHIA - Labor Day evokes thoughts of going to the shore and breathing the last of summer vacation, but the reason for the Labor Day holiday should not be forgotten. People across Philadelphia were keeping the real meaning of the holiday in mind.
“It’s Labor Day. It’s a perfect day to have a rally and solidify all the laborers in Philadelphia as a united front,” said Terrell Haigler.
Rally for sanitation workers in Philadelphia on Labor Day.
The Philadelphia Labor Day parade didn’t happen, but many of the people who would have been involved with a parade met at City Hall at a rally organized by a local sanitation worker.
“We wanted to come together and rally as a unit to let the city know that we are demanding PPE, no layoffs and hazard pay,” Haigler stated.
At City Hall, they were standing for union labor, while right down the street at the Chosen 300 Ministry, their Labor Day was a labor of love.
“It’s a time for us to step in and say ok, we could be off work today, but we decided to take the day on and challenge ourselves to make sure we impact other peoples’ lives,” explained Brian Jenkins.
Chosen 300 Ministries gives free haircuts and homeless services on Labor Day.
Free haircuts and services for homeless was designed to reinforce the message of equality.
“We want to give them that same feeling and that same opportunity to build their self-esteem and also give them some hope for their journey,” Jenkins added.
The ‘Stand Up’ theme continued in North Philadelphia where they were standing up for children.
Project Home distributes backpacks for kids on Labor Day.
“We give away these beautiful backpacks with everything in them. All we ask is for the children to show up. We present them to the children and that’s our mission,” explained Project Home organizer David Brown.
Project Home and local officials handed out 200 bookbags to make sure kids had opportunities that some in the neighborhood never got.
“When I was growing up as a child, I didn’t have backpacks. I didn’t have cookouts and things of that nature. It’s very important for kids to have backpacks when they go back to school,” Brown remarked.
Like everything in the age of coronavirus, Labor Day was different, but the strong voice of community was still heard.
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