Adopt-a-Farmworker-Family Xmas

Trip Start Nov 25, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Thursday, December 20, 2007

This month's project: playing "Santa" to a Farmworker family. When a hometown family sent money to the Border with me to sponsor a needy family (instead of exchanging gifts with each other), I adopted a family of seven: parents, their 15 year old daughter and 4 granddaughters. Upon receiving a list of their names, ages, sizes and an item or two they might like, off I went to buy, wrap and bring the presents to the Farmworkers Union Hall for the big pre-Christmas social: meeting the family and delivering their presents.

Although in one way they were not as poor as I thought (they had a very beat-up old car), in other ways they were poorer than I expected. They lack basic education and English skills, face serious health challenges, and have recently weathered family instability. Last Christmas the family did not have any presents due to hard times. When most families in the U.S. have at least a couple TV sets, they don't have one.

Some of the hosting families/organizations dropped off their presents and left, but Paul and I enjoyed sitting with the family and getting to know them better. I've included their stories in the photo section; you can click on each photo for details.

I learned that wealth is only one asset--and not as important an asset--among the many assets that others don't have. So, in that realization, they gave me a very important present. But will I remember it? Perhaps these photos and the stories they shared will help. [Names are changed to protect anonymity.]
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