Member Stories

Librarian Praises Fast Access to Disaster Relief Grant with the Union Plus Credit Card

“The Disaster Relief Grant came at the right time. I thank Union Plus for that because I don't even know how we were going get by for those next days or weeks after Hurricane Sandy. When you don't have anything, and the electricity is still out, $500 is a lot of money.” – AFSCME Member Shileen Shaw


In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy, also known as “Superstorm Sandy”, battered the east coast of the United States and caused billions of dollars in damage. 

“We had never seen anything like it,” says Shileen Shaw, recalling the damage her East Orange, NJ, home suffered at the time.

Shaw’s home lost electricity for weeks and her roof endured severe damage. Luckily, she was able to turn to her union for help. 

Shaw has been a member of Local 2298 (Council 63) of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) for more than 20 years. She currently works at a branch of the Newark Public Library. She has also been a proud Union Plus Credit Cardholder1 since 2007, which came in handy when she was seeking financial relief in the aftermath of the hurricane.

Through a quick phone call, Shaw found out she was eligible for the Union Plus Disaster Relief Grant—a $500 cash grant that does not have to be repaid.

“I applied for the grant and I got the check within days,” Shaw recounts.

The Union Plus Disaster Relief Grant2 provides financial assistance to eligible Union Plus Credit Cardholders facing hardship following a natural disaster. To be considered for a Disaster Relief Grant, Credit Cardholders must have had their card for at least three months.

“The grant came at the right time. I just thank Union Plus for that,” she says. “When you don't have anything, and the electricity is still out, $500 is a lot.”

For more information about getting access to emergency financial resources, visit unionplus.org/hardship.

1Union Plus Credit Cards are issued by Capital One, N.A. pursuant to a license by Mastercard International Incorporated. Credit approval required. Terms and conditions apply.   

2Certain restrictions, limitations and qualifications apply to these grants. Additional information and eligibility criteria can be obtained at https://www.unionplus.org/hardship-help/disaster-relief-grants.