We are delighted to announce the appointment of Friends of Fieldworkers' first Executive Director, Dr. Martha Martinez-Bravo. For the past three years Dr. Martinez-Bravo has served as the Executive Director of the Social Justice Fund for Ventura County. She was born and raised in Oxnard and is the oldest of nine children, from a Mexican-American family. She has great appreciation for farmworkers, as her father worked as a farmworker in Ventura County during her childhood. She received a bachelor's degree in Psychology & Social Behavior with a minor in Educational Studies from the University of California, Irvine, and a master's and a doctorate degree in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University.
Food and Masks
Checking on our Families
Since the quarantine was lifted in June, Friends of Fieldworkers has done the following:
1) Continued to help a family of seven who lost their mother to COVID
2) Provided infant layettes and furnishings to four families with new babies
3) Built new raised bed gardens and provided yard clean-up through Aha! software company
4) Built subground worm composter for a family who started gardening in their own ground
and in their new raised bed two years ago
5) Connected a child with a tutor before she enters high school
6) Continued Grocery Security Net (GSN) begun in 2020. We ask each family what 15-19 items
they use every day--things they depend on for survival. (Typically, they have about 3-5 days’
supply now.) Food, bathroom and laundry supplies and gas for their cars. Based on what
they consume now, we calculate the cost of a three-month supply. About $333 per month or
$999 for three months. Twenty-five percent of that amount is for gas. So far, our GSN
supported seven families. We hope to provide for many more.
7) Spoke with a group of residents at the Clearwater at River Park Senior Living facility about
what we do. They have since donated cash, clothing and household supplies.
8) Started two monthly Laundry Love programs for Fieldworkers at laundromats in El Rio and
Oxnard. Our families spend between $25 and $50 a week at laundromats. Our program
provides up to four loads or $40 each time plus laundry soap, conditioner, bleach and baby
soap, if required. Karen James and Pastor Melissa Langdell of All Saints Episcopal Church in
Oxnard are offering volunteers and financial support at the Oxnard facility. Jisela Ramirez
and Carmen Ruiz are leading the one in El Rio.
9) With the help of an old friend, Tracy Lu Guillen, owner of Esquire Property Management, and
the very hard work of our family mentioned earlier, R.A.’s family was able to move into a
rental home of their dreams with plenty of room for their whole family and for their garden.
10) Jisela Ramirez is the Community/El Rio School Liaison. She distributes food weekly to over
250 farmworker families plus all sorts of other necessities about every other month. In
addition, she holds parenting classes every week. We speak almost daily and funnel most of
our in-kind donations to her for storage and distribution. Please, if you donate to FoF, make
sure all items are gently-used and clean.
11) We paid the CSU Channel Islands University tuition for the fall semester for one of our
students who had a death in her family. She works parttime to support her family but has
had some reduced hours due to COVID.
During the 16 months from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, 2020, through June, 2021, Friends of Fieldworkers did the following:
1) Helped children cope while locked indoors as their parents work
2) Provided art and school materials
3) Connected some children with art teachers on-line (in Mexico)
4) Connected some children with phone buddies to read with them and chat
5) Sent children butterfly and ladybug habitats, and caterpillars and larvae to observe
6) Provided two laptops and two tablets to four children
7) Chatted on SnapChat
8) Sent birthday cards, gifts and even had a birthday party
9) Delivered books on the children’s interests
10) Provided a basketball hoop with backboard, weights, trampoline, jump ropes
11) Distributed hundreds of pounds of Legos
12) Helped parents cope, working in the fields, terrified that COVID or ICE will take them
13) Built 4’ X 8’ garden boxes in several yards, provided soil, amendment and plants
14) Gave special recognition (cards, money and floral arrangements)
15) Expanded monthly diaper delivery to 30 families with special needs children
16) Made and delivered approximately 4,000 masks to them and their employers
17) Delivered about 90 food and essentials boxes per week to families
18) Delivered Lawn Leaf Bags full of clothes, shoes, toys, linens, household supplies
19) Paid for rent, utilities, gas, and other necessities in a few cases
20) Began Grocery Security Net (GSN)
***ALL THESE THINGS WE DID WITH THE SUPPORT OF INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS***