Stories of Change

Top: NC FIELD staff Middle and Bottom: CWS Blanket and Welcome Backpack distribution

Caring for Those Who Take Care of Us

If you open your fridge and find any type of vegetation, there is a good chance it was produced by a migrant farmworker. These hard-working men and women make up about 73% of the nation’s agriculture workforce and quietly ensure that anyone living in the U.S. has fresh food to put on the table. While they take care of all of us, however, oftentimes there is no one taking care of them.

This is where our partnership with organizations like NC FIELD comes into play. NC FIELD’s mission is simple: to ensure that marginalized communities have equitable access to resources and that the communities they live in are inclusive. “In this area, the people who are in most need of services are migrant farmworkers because they have the lowest access to health and social services,” explained Amy Elkins, program coordinator for NC FIELD.

Amy, who has been around this community since she was a child, explained the harsh reality that these individuals live in. “They usually leave for work around 4:00 AM and then are back home around midnight to 1:00 AM. They sleep for a couple of hours, take a shower, eat and then they’re up again at 4:00 AM. It’s very long hours and very hard work.”

These work conditions are even harder when temperatures drop in North Carolina and families don’t have enough blankets to stay warm when they are home. To combat this, NC FIELD reached out to CWS to request some CWS Blankets. As soon as the farm workers arrived from a long day of work, NC FIELD staff was there to hand out CWS warm wool blankets. “They had just arrived and were freezing. They literally didn’t even have coats. They were so grateful and so happy,” Amy recounted. “Just look at their big smiles in the photos!”

In addition to the blankets, CWS also gave NC Field CWS School Kits to the children in these families. When you are working so many long hours and just trying to stay afloat, the last thing on your mind is a quick run to the store for school supplies. “They’re in survival mode,” Amy stated. “We also have a lot of single mothers so these supplies were a huge help.” She added, “It’s so heartwarming to be able to help because there is so much scarcity. When these kids are able to have these school bags and supplies and not have to struggle, it makes them happier.”

At the end of the day, without organizations like NC FIELD and the volunteers who help create and organize our Kits and Blankets, the needs of some of our hardest-working neighbors would not be met. As Amy said, “They are putting food on our tables, but they don’t have access to basic human rights.” We are proud to work with organizations like NC FIELD to meet the needs of the most vulnerable communities and ensure they have warmth and care.

Click here to learn more about how you can get involved in our Kits and Blankets program.