Judy Fisk Lucas’s parents were missionaries in Hawaii and they raised her and her two sisters there. Judy recalls being surrounded by sugar cane and coffee farmers, many of whom were immigrants from Japan, the Philippines, China and elsewhere. Judy watched them toil in the red dirt in Kauai and in the black lava of Kona. Judy tried picking coffee beans and realized how back-breaking it was.
Teaching migrant children in Chualar, California, was Judy’s first job and she fell in love with the farm-working families, children and culture. She saw how hard the parents worked just to survive, moving with the crops and seeing their children try to cope with different schools, year in and year out.
In 2013, there was a devastating fire in Oxnard, leaving 27 farm-working families without a home. Judy and her husband Ted mobilized to provide food, water, clothes, shoes, furniture, toys, books, school supplies and, mostly, their love. In 2015, Judy and her husband led the efforts to incorporate Friends of Fieldworkers as a nonprofit organization.