This Christmas, migrant worker families living in Watsonville will be able to have a warm meal and presents to share thanks to the Christmas Project, which was started by Gladys Anderson in 1978.
At the time, she was working as a social worker for Santa Cruz County Child Protective Services and she met a twelve-year old girl who had never had a doll. She got her the doll and prepared food for the girl’s family. And that’s how it all started, growing over the years to include more families as more people wanted to get involved.
Every year, Gladys visits the migrant worker camps in August and has the families write down one item for each member of the family. The lists get distributed among those willing to help and the gifts are distributed on Christmas Eve.
Second Harvest began partnering with the Christmas Project several years ago to help ensure the families also had enough to eat over the holidays. On Wednesday, December 21st, Second Harvest trucks delivered food to seven migrant worker camps. Volunteers, including members of the Aptos LaSelva Fire Department, were on hand to help out.
Each family received a large bag of fresh produce including pears, apples, onions, potatoes and cabbage. They also received a roasting chicken and a box of non-perishable foods such as rice and beans. Watsonville-based company, Smith and Vandiver, http://www.svnaturally.com/ donated soaps and lotions to distribute as well.
Times continue to be really tough for the working poor and the efforts of Gladys and her team go a long way toward helping to make the holidays happier for a lot of people—both the givers and the receivers.
All of us at Second Harvest would like to thank you for your support throughout the year and wish you all the best for 2012. Working together, we are making a difference.