Ojai Valley Guide Summer 2020

Page 55


Above: New masks made with donated fabric and volunteer sewing. Photograph: Judy Lucas Far left: Judy Lucas and friend during a fieldworker home visit in Oxnard. Photograph: Ted Lucas Bottom left: Free plants and citrus outside Lucas home in Mira Monte. Photograph: Judy Lucas Top: Legos. Legos donated to many of the younger children. Photograph: Judy Lucas Middle: Friends of Fieldworkers van with bumper stickers and decals. Photograph: Ellen Sklarz Bottom: Judy and Ted Lucas with children of fieldworkers, Santa Barbara Zoo, July 2019. Photograph: Alma Ramirez

items. FoF works with Farmworker Resource Program and El Rio School to distribute those goods directly to fieldworkers on a weekly basis. In addition, says Judy, they are focusing on the children of fieldworkers who are home from school, needing some enrichment. One DSA volunteer collected the materials to build nine 4-by-8-foot garden boxes in some of the families’ yards, complete with soil, amendment and plants. For an experiential science project, Judy and Ted ordered baby caterpillars in kits so that three families could watch the transformation process. Judy says that the children also received books, art and school supplies. FoF wants to initiate a program with “reading buddies, grandma and grandpa types” who are willing to call the children regularly and read with them through video chatting. On Mother’s Day, FoF delivered fresh floral arrangements and gift bags of handcrafted soaps, handmade cards with enclosed $50 bills, and such amenity samples as soaps, shampoo and conditioner. Says Judy, “Our message is clear: ‘We are thinking of you. We love and support you and your families in this unstable time of our history. Thank you for feeding us, as well!”


Judy and Ted work tirelessly and lovingly to support the farmworkers, who often work eight to 10 hours a day to provide for their families. This dynamic but humble couple faces constant challenges, including raising funds to cover costs and addressing hardships among the parents and children, including affordable housing, as well as cancer and birth defects potentially caused by exposure to pesticides and herbicides. As she leaves in her packed van, Judy’s quiet but firm voice permeates the warm, still air: “Treat people like you would have hoped your immigrant family was treated.”

Judy’s recent self-published book, Friends of Fieldworkers: True Personal Stories of Triumphs, Tears and Invisibility, can be purchased on these websites: www.xlibris.com www.barnesandnoble.com www.amazon.com Available soon: the Spanish, full-color version of the book, Amigos de Trabajadores de Campo: Historia Verdaderas y Personales de Triunfos, Lagrimas e Invisibilidad All proceeds from book sales benefit the work of Friends of Fieldworkers.

To connect go to: www.friendsoffieldworkers.org Friends of Fieldworkers, Inc. friendsoffieldworkers