Milwaukee Federal Community Responds to the Tsunami Tragedy

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Members of the Milwaukee Federal Employee Diversity Committee gathered at the Federal Courthouse on January 31, 2005, to present a $2,000.00 check for Tsunami Relief to Major Debby Sjogren, Commander of the Milwaukee Chapter of the Wisconsin Salvation Army. The Diversity Committee raised the $2,000.00 earlier in the month in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday by hosting hot dog and chili sales at the Reuss Federal Plaza and the Federal Courthouse.

[Photo 1: Federal employees present giant check replica to Salvation Army representative.]
Left to Right in Front: Ann Ball and Joyce Unglaub (DOJ), Major Debby Sjogren, Karyl Richson (SSA), Debby Spott (IRS), Sheila Ashley and Barbara Matt (HUD). Left to Right in Back: Francis Schmitz (First Assistant US Attorney), Cheryl Jordan (SBA) and Jeff Claassen (GSA)

The Diversity Committee's contribution on behalf of the federal community throughout metro Milwaukee will aid the Salvation Army's $5 million "Building Homes, Building Hope" initiative to build 1,000 replacement homes for victims of the tsunami disaster. HUD Operations Specialist Sheila Ashley, the Chair of the Diversity Committee, said, "The Committee met and decided that there was no better way to honor Dr. King's memory than by helping our brothers and sisters affected by the tsunami recover and rebuild. The Salvation Army's Building Homes, Building Hope initiative provided us with a vehicle to do that."

Major Sjogren, in thanking the Diversity Committee for the donation, said "The Salvation Army has been asked by the Sri Lanka government to assist in the transitioning from meeting immediate needs to the long term reconstruction of the area affected by the disaster. Your $2,000.00 will pay for building a one-bedroom house. The house will be strong enough to withstand an earthquake or even a tsunami and, in keeping with Dr. King's philosophy, will provide housing for generations to come."

The Federal Employee Diversity Committee was established in 2002 by seven federal agencies and four federal organizations in the metropolitan Milwaukee area to promote and provide education about cultural diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity special emphasis programs, to encourage appreciation of diversity, and to share resources within the government and the community. The success of this special fundraiser was the direct result of members of the Diversity Committee who contributed their personal time to coordinate and staff the fundraiser and their own money to purchase the food and supplies.

The Committee has grown to its current membership of 18 federal agencies and organizations. The member agencies include HUD, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Social Security Administration (SSA), Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), General Services Administrations (GSA), Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), Small Business Administration (SBA), Department of Justice (DOJ) US Attorney's Office, Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the US Postal Service. The affiliated organizations are the IRS Association for the Improvement of Minorities (IRS-AIM), Blacks In Government (BIG), Federal Employees Black History Committee (FEBHC) and Hispanic Internal Revenue Employees (HIRE).

Content Archived: September 09, 2009