Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu, (Chinese philosopher, 604 BC - 531 BC)
It hardly seems possible that it has been 20 years since I first set out to improve conditions for farmworkers while changing the lives of college students through a small non-profit called Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF).
Yes, it’s true: SAF celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2012, and I attended the reunion in Durham, NC where I caught up with many former interns. I was absolutely astounded at how critical one summer spent with migrant farmworkers was in shaping the entire direction of our lives. It was truly amazing—and inspiring—to see how many of us have continued our efforts in non-profit organizations, advocacy, education and the arts.
That was then This is now
(Smithfield, NC, 1990) (Durham, NC, 2012)
I can still remember the feeling of shock and outrage I had as an undergraduate at Duke University when I realized that there were people not 50 miles from the walls of our campus who were living in isolated labor camps, without indoor plumbing, suffering from pesticide-related illnesses, who lacked a car, English, or funds to get medical care, legal services, day care, education—or sometimes even food. People who got up before the sun and spent 12-hour days in 95-degree heat to harvest the food we eat. People who, in extreme cases, were held against their will and forced to work in conditions which constituted slavery.
Over the years, due in part to the efforts of SAF and other organizations, farmworkers' lives have gradually improved. Farmworkers on the East Coast have started organizing and have won small victories, such as contracts with food processors and improvements in housing laws.
Unfortunately, many problems persist. Farmworkers’ average annual income is $11,000; for a family it is approximately $16,000. This makes farm work the second lowest paid job in the nation (after domestic labor). Farmworkers are often paid by the bucket; in some states they earn as little as 40¢ for a bucket of tomatoes or sweet potatoes. At that rate, farmworkers have to pick around two tons of produce (125 buckets) to earn $50. Source (and more facts)
SAF has never given up trying to improve the lives of farmworkers while helping students develop into life-long social justice advocates. Today, most SAF summer interns are college students whose parents are farmworkers, and who know first hand the problems they still face. These interns spend 10 weeks in rural communities serving farmworkers and their families at health clinics, legal services programs, migrant education and Head Start centers, unions, and other community groups. SAF also works with middle and high school farmworker youth to support their efforts to attend college. In addition, SAF leads several statewide and national advocacy coalitions. Learn more about SAF.
My experiences at the SAF reunion last fall started me thinking about how I could help SAF now. What better way, I thought, than to combine my New Year’s Resolution to get in shape with raising money for a cause. I joined the running group "Moms in Motion," signed up for the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half-Marathon on May 11, and set up this fundraising page with SAF. Voila: my own personal “run-for-a-cause” was born.
Here’s where YOU come into the picture. My goal is to raise $4,440 by March 31 (Cesar Chavez’s birthday). This amount covers the direct costs of sponsoring one summer intern. I am grateful for whatever amount you can contribute, whether it’s $5 or $50 or $500, to help me reach my goal by March 31.
Per diem $1350
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Why this quote?
I chose this quote for my fundraising page because it aptly describes the decision I made, and thousands of other students and farmworker activists have made, to GET INVOLVED: to learn, to engage, to serve, to think, to reflect, to fight, to document, to speak out, to give. Although we may have wondered whether the actions of just one person could really make a difference, we took the plunge. These first single steps started a trajectory, a journey of all the people and ideas that make up SAF, a journey which continues to grow and, yes, to make a difference. I hope you will decide to join us in this journey, because everyone has a role to play.
On another, more personal level, the quote is appropriate for my “jog-a-thon” goal of completing a half-marathon to raise money for SAF. When I started in January, I could barely jog 3 miles. Now, I have successfully run 10 miles (with the wonderful support of my teammates in Moms in Motion) and I am confident that I can make it to 13.1 on May 11, especially knowing that I have your support!
SAF's grassroots fundraising goal is to raise $20,000 through online fundraising and house parties!
SAF uses money raised from individuals to:
Thanks to those that have already donated this year through our 20-year anniversary sponsorships. We hope that you will consider giving again to help sustain our work for the next 20 years.
|Heather Heckel||05/04/2013||$50.00||Lydia Vilppu||04/15/2013||$50.00||Paula Kennedy||04/07/2013||$25.00||Josh David||04/04/2013||$50.00||Jennifer Van Hyning||04/03/2013||$15.00||Cameron & Lisa Benson||04/02/2013||$25.00||Sam Powers||04/02/2013||$25.00||Anonymous Friend||04/02/2013||$25.00||Hilary Tyler||04/02/2013||$250.00||Alex K.||04/01/2013||$50.00||Have fun!||Brenda Moseley||04/01/2013||$100.00||Margaret Rosequist||04/01/2013||$100.00||Anonymous Friend||03/31/2013||$25.00||Matthew Mayers||03/31/2013||$50.00||The Bye/Appels||03/30/2013||$100.00||Good luck!!||Go Carolyn Go.||03/30/2013||$50.00||Murray and Mary Beth||03/30/2013||$25.00||Sue Corrie||03/30/2013||$100.00||We support you every step of the way. If we could be there to run with you we would!!! But we will be there in spirit!! Love, Sue and Vince!!!||Sue Ellen Jares||03/29/2013||$25.00||Antony Page||03/28/2013||$75.00||David Shutley||03/28/2013||$100.00||Marly & Wyatt||03/28/2013||$100.00||Brody family||03/28/2013||$20.00||Wish we could give more--good luck!||Im Karen Lee||03/28/2013||$20.00||Aunt Louise||03/27/2013||$50.00||Go Carolyn!||Laura Stravino||03/27/2013||$200.00||Way to go, Carolyn! In honor of you and the work of SAF. Put some 80s tracks on that iPod!||Sarah Bederman||03/27/2013||$10.00||Good luck, Carolyn!||Greg Tannen||03/27/2013||$25.00||Stuart Bronn||03/27/2013||$25.00||carolyn Corrie||03/26/2013||$100.00||We love you. Good Luck! Terry & Chuck||Mike Evans||03/26/2013||$250.00||Way to go!||Shona Simpson||03/26/2013||$100.00||Kevin VH||03/26/2013||$50.00||Enjoy the journey!||Margaret Perry Bradley||03/26/2013||$100.00||Curtis Kin||03/26/2013||$100.00||Anonymous Friend||03/26/2013||$20.00||Go Carolyn! XO||Melissa Pierce Murray||03/26/2013||$30.00||Sarah Carroll||03/25/2013||$100.00||Carolyn's going to run 13.1 miles IN A ROW! Go Carolyn!||Kirsty Wild||03/25/2013||$50.00||Carolyn, Your dedication and passion continue to amaze me! Best of luck with your training, your race, and the campaign to help SAF!||Kathleen Colville||03/25/2013||$25.00||Mary C. Williams||03/25/2013||$100.00||Lucy Corrie-Tannen||03/25/2013||$10.00||Anonymous Friend||03/24/2013||$100.00||julie||03/24/2013||$50.00||We are happy to support Carolyn in this effort! Best of luck to all who take part in this very worthy effort! Love to CJC!!!!!!||Hammer-Longosz Family||03/24/2013||$50.00||Yana Richaud||03/24/2013||$50.00||Anonymous Friend||03/24/2013||$50.00||It is a pleasure to donate to such a worthy cause!||Jean and Jim Wortman||03/19/2013||$250.00||Robert Corrie||03/18/2013||$100.00|