Almost two months have passed since we held our five Community Christmas Shoppes throughout Ventura County. On two back to back weekends, we witnessed profound joy, gratitude, and hope from families and volunteers alike. But the impact of Community Christmas Shoppe goes far beyond the one day event. Our dear friend, Judy Lucas reached out to us a few days ago and reminded us of this impact.
Once again, we at Friends of Fieldworkers, Inc. are thankful for the superior job you do to bring smiles of joy to families in our county–to the children and their parents–at Christmas time.
This year was a special one because of the property, work time and resources lost to the Thomas Fire. Many of our families worked in the fields in spite of the flames and smoke and had the horrible choice between working in those conditions or being able to provide for their families. I am guessing that for many of our children, the ONLY gifts they received this year were the shoes from us and the toys from you.
We befriend and serve fieldworkers and their families in Ventura County. During two fires in Oxnard and Hueneme (2013 and 2017) which took the lives of a father and child and the homes of 30+ families, we followed up after the Red Cross finished their work and have befriended many of those families since. We have been blessed by the relationships made.
One of our goals is to acknowledge and honor those men and women who feed us at great peril to themselves and their families. We want our community to really see them, to get to know and care about them as individuals. For them to be able to choose gifts for their families and to put them under their trees is huge. Being a part of the community, our children see what other children have and feel validated when they, too, are blessed at Christmas.
Again, thank you, and may your organization continue to thrive.
Judy Fisk Lucas
President, Friends of Fieldworkers, Inc.
For more information on Friends of Fieldworkers and the incredible work that they do, please visit: www.friendsoffieldworkers.org