On July 14, thousands of people had no clear picture of the future of their careers as writers and actors went on strike. Nov. 9 provided hope as the historic almost-four-month strike ended.
The end of the strike has not given an immediate snapback for all those affected and does not erase the monthslong period of unemployment. This has become especially prevalent as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches.
“Some people were just giving up,” said Shannon Miller, who along with her husband organized a Thanksgiving food drive on Friday at Santa Clarita Studios for members of Teamsters Local 399, whose members found themselves out of work due to the production stoppages caused by the writers’ and actors’ strikes. “Some people were trying to find different careers just to survive.”
“We just saw a need,” said Shannon. “Why should they have to choose between paying their bill and having a Thanksgiving with their family? Let’s make that easier for them.”
“We just wanted to help the community,” said Chris Miller, Shannon’s husband and a Teamsters Local 399 driver. “We saw how much Teamsters were struggling. People think Teamsters don’t struggle, but we do.”
The husband-wife duo took to GoFundMe to raise money for the drive.
“The Millers have always felt a need to be of service to the community and that was an easy extension to their Teamster family during the extended strikes of 2023,” said Michael Sparks, a volunteer at the event, “raising over $3,200 to purchase all the side dishes and desserts for a beautiful meal.”
One hundred bags were filled with everything needed for a Thanksgiving dinner for a family of four – turkeys, pies, stuffing, green bean casserole, potatoes, butter and cider.
Those who signed up simply drove in and picked up their Thanksgiving meal.
“Thank you brothers and sisters!” shouted one of the attendees from their car.
Shannon and Chris were accompanied by their fellow Teamster drivers as volunteers to help put together the bags and give them away to the cars.
“One thing I’ve noticed about the union is everybody wants to help,” said Shannon. “You don’t have to ask for help.”
Just as Shannon said they had to even turn away volunteers, someone in a car driving up to pick up their food asked if they needed any more volunteers.