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Everyone loves a good story.

Sometimes, even the most complicated message can be delivered simply and effectively by sharing a personal experience.

This is especially true when we talk to our co-workers about the importance of belonging to our union.

UFCW Local 99 does so much for all of us that a newcomer could be overwhelmed by the scope of services and protections we provide. To help, we have upgraded our website,, and published an attractive new guidebook called Know Your Union.

Nevertheless, there are times when a personal story says it best.

Here’s an example from my own experiences:

I was 17 years old when I first walked into my local union office to sign up as a member. As the son of a trade unionist, I never had any doubt in my mind that this was the right thing to do. But I was not prepared for everything I learned that day.

As I learned about my new health and pension benefits, I felt a sense of pride, empowerment and solidarity — I knew what I has was valuable.

Here I was, a 17-year-old kid, earning health care that was as good as my parents’!

In all the years since then, I’ve never forgotten how I felt as I signed on the dotted line to become a union member. And I still feel immense pride in being part of a great organization built on fraternity, solidarity and shared strength.

That’s just one of many stories I have to tell, but it has special relevance to a young person who is beginning his or her own journey to independence and a career.

You probably have your own stories to share about how our union has helped you or someone you know.

Did your union health benefits come through in a way that saved your family from financial devastation?

Did a union scholarship help you or your child pay the bills while seeking a college education?

Did your union representative stand by you through the grievance process when your job was on the line?

Did you meet a close friend or future spouse while volunteering for a union activity?

Did Local 99 provide direct assistance to your family in a time of crisis?

I’ve heard these kinds of stories regularly in the course of my years in this union.

Now we are providing an opportunity for you to tell your own union story as a short video in a dedicated section of our new website.

Record your short video (three minutes or less) and submit it at

If we select your entry for the website, you’ll receive a $100 gift card.

After all, everyone loves a good story!

What’s your union story?