Walk a Mile in Their Shoes Fundraiser

Local 332 members Lilliana Martinez and Zahira Elmansoumi led 332’s participation in this year’s Walk a Mile in Their Shoes, an annual YWCA event raising awareness and funding for domestic violence and sexual assault support services. Participants walk a mile, many in high heels, as a symbol of solidarity with survivors.

The YWCA is dedicated to empowering women; eliminating racism; and promoting justice, freedom, and dignity for all. The Walk a Mile event raises money for support services for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors and family, including crisis intervention, emergency housing, outreach, advocacy education, as well as legislative support to change systems and laws for justice and equity.

“Our local has participated in the Walk a Mile for over 15 years, and it’s grown to over 100 members, family, and friends participating,” said Lilliana. “Because of members’ and Javier Casillas’ genuine support, our local was awarded 2023 Top Fundraiser. That’s solidarity!”

Zahira concurred that Local 332’s participation demonstrates members’ solidarity with the greater community. “When you’re volunteering, you’re able to connect with the union and other members and strengthen the brotherhood as a whole,” she said. “There’s a sense of community, like being with family. Since the trades are male-dominated, the fact that we’re here supporting women and everyone who’s a survivor of domestic violence shows we care about our community.”

Though the cause is quite serious, members coming together for the event was a joyous occasion. “The most fun part was seeing men in crazy heels walking the mile,” said Zahira. “The members who were there had a blast, and I’d love to see a bigger 332 presence in the future.”

Lilliana encouraged more members to get involved in community events. “Volunteering is a decision to give valued time to enhance lives in our community. For a moment, people are united for a cause, and it’s an opportunity to inspire and support. There’s a ripple effect, and your effort matters.”

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