Spirit of St. Louis boosts phonathon

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ST. LOUIS — There’s something highly infectious about the “can-do,” positive spirit of People’s Weekly World supporters in St. Louis. You can’t help but feel it when you’re around them, and it puts a little extra lift in your walk for several days afterward.

Maybe it’s the influence of the mighty Mississippi that runs along the city’s banks. Maybe it’s the rich history of working-class struggle here, where workers and oppressed people have been fighting for dignity and justice for many years, never letting up.

Whatever the source, that spirit was in abundance at a Jan. 22 national phonathon here. Seven dedicated volunteers used state-of-the-art technology in a union-owned call center. They personally spoke with over 340 people in the course of only three hours. They raised over $2,800 for the People’s Weekly World fund drive.

And the amazing thing was that they seemed to take it all in stride.

“I’ve done this kind of calling several times before,” said Tony Pecinovsky, district staff for the Communist Party USA in Missouri and Kansas. “So I guess I’m used to it. But I have to say we got pretty good results today.”

Cinnamon Brothers was more enthusiastic, noting the excellent response from the newspaper’s subscribers. “This is a really good list,” she said. “Raising this amount of money from a little over 300 direct calls shows the paper has very strong support.”

In many ways, of course, we at the People’s Weekly World already know our readers are strong supporters. They’re a committed, dedicated bunch. They’re among the most determined fighters for social justice, equality and peace. They keep up with the news. They take action. They put their money where their mouth is, especially if they’re asked.

So ask we did. And thanks to advanced technology, we made over 2,900 calls to households from Portland, Ore., to Philadelphia and almost everywhere in between. More than 10 percent of those calls yielded good conversations and in many cases contributions to the fund drive.

During the calling, the center was buzzing with voices and occasional shouts of success. “I just got a contribution of $500,” said Quincy Boyd, newly elected president of Local 2730 of AFSCME, where workers and the community are fighting to keep a health center open. Jim Wilkerson, a veteran trade unionist and leader of the Communist Party and Coalition of Black Trade Unionists here, was frequently overheard taking down credit card numbers and thanking contributors for their generous support.

Similar, less hi-tech phonathons have been held elsewhere, including one in Chicago on Jan. 23. John Bachtell, district organizer for the CPUSA in Illinois, said the local effort “was enough to put us over the top of this year’s goal.”

It’s not too late. If you haven’t already done so, send in your contribution today — and get your co-workers and friends to send in theirs, too. You can give online or call (646) 437-5363 with a credit card, or you can mail your check or money order to PWW, 235 W. 23rd St., New York NY 10011.

Catch the spirit of St. Louis. Give today!