Transmission and Distribution World Magazine sheds light on the NSUJL
Written by Jim Dukart
Social media and the Internet can get a bad rap, blamed for all manner of social ills. But, given the right circumstances and in the hands of the right individual, the Internet can also give rise to great good. Take, for example, what Rae Johnson created out of a Facebook page dedicated to fallen linemen.
Johnson is the founder, business manager, financial manager and treasurer for the National Sisterhood United for Journeyman Lineman (NSUJL), a group that offers financial and emotional support for the wives and families of fallen linemen.
In January 2012, John Plante, a lineman from IBEW Local 104, fell to his death while descending a pole. The news was posted to the IBEW Wives Facebook page and started a discussion, then a movement and a cause that Johnson and others have been committed to for three years.
“People have been passing the hat at IBEW meetings for decades, but we started thinking, who is there for the wife, who is helping put the pieces back together after a death?” Johnson asks. “I started looking for charities we could donate to.”
She found none. “If you are raising money for autism or breast cancer, there are plenty of charities,” Johnson says. “If you want to contribute funds for fallen policemen or firemen, you can pick a charity by the color of its logo. So how on earth is there not a charity for the families of fallen linemen?”
Johnson sprung into action. “We decided either we are going to let this thing die, which a lot of great ideas do, or we create a charity of our own,” she declares. Johnson then spent months researching the legal, financial and management issues behind creating a charity, fundraising, creating a governing board and membership structure and recruiting members and sponsors. “We started out with nothing, but once the fire was lit to get this going, you just couldn’t stop us,” Johnson says…. Read More