Taylor Santo contacted me saying, "Sorry I disappeared after the food caravan to Monterey. My wife got sick and then our house burned down in the wildfires. We just got into long term housing while we rebuild, so I am hoping to get involved again next month." What?! I can't believe she is even thinking about us after all of these devastating blows.
Let me backup a bit and tell you a little bit about Taylor Santo, she has been a hard-working nurse in the Bay Area during the pandemic but has been emotionally moved to help the farmworkers.
I remember talking to her before one of the Farmworker Caravans and I had just received an email from the KIND Foundation turning down our request for in-kind donation of their snack bars saying, "at this time our organization is donating goods focused on frontline healthcare workers." I responded, "I am sorry you don't consider farmworkers essential" followed with some educational facts for them to peruse. And I thought of all companies to say that particularly when they tout that, "KIND makes wholesome, delicious, healthy snacks with ingredients you will recognize like whole nuts, whole grains, and a variety of fruits and spices." It seems to me like farmworkers are pretty essential to their business.
Taylor was telling me that they get so many in-kind donations and free meals for the healthcare workers they don't even know what to do with them. Plus she said, we're getting a salary, overtime, health insurance and get sick pay. She proceeded to collect over $1500 from her coworkers for our June caravan and made a few Costco runs to bring us lots of much needed toilet paper and diapers.
So, here we are today after Taylor and Laurie (also a nurse) lost their Bonny Doone home in the California wildfires and they are still reflecting on their blessings. They were able to get themselves and their dogs to safety before seeing their home turn into ashes. Seeing the farmworkers continue to work fearful of COVID19 and surrounded by wildfire smoke they wanted to continue to support their fellow essential workers. They feel blessed and want to pass those blessings on.
Yes, there are still good and kind people out there.