Day Laborers’ Celebration Shows Strength of Yonkers Community

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3kingsTwo hundred and twenty members of Obreros Unidos de Yonkers celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany at St. Peter’s Church on Saturday, January 7th. Local restaurants donated all the food served, and a group of 17 volunteers (including six Sisters of Charity, two Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and a representative from Chase Bank) distributed toys and warm winter clothing to the workers and their children. In total, 60 coats, 95 men’s sweaters, 30 gloves, 38 winter hats and several boxes of toys were provided.

This annual “Three Kings Party” is part of Catholic Charities’ ongoing involvement with Obreros Unidos De Yonkers, a group of approximately 300 day laborers in the Yonkers area. Through this program, Catholic Charities educates workers on employment rights and responsibilities in order to prevent exploitation and abuse. Catholic Charities also assists in the collection of unpaid wages, helps workers get access to healthcare services, provides emergency food, and offers English language and computer skills instruction.

Yonkers public officials and community leaders joined the celebration along with Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities, and Janet Hernandez, the Community Organizer who staffs the Obreros Unidos program for Catholic Charities. Special guests included Yonkers Mayor Michael Spano, City Councilman Wilson Terrero, and Captain of the Third Precinct, Charles Fara.