Church-based center helps migrant workers

Filed under FLGR-PALMCOAST

Jeroline McCarthyRural communities of Spuds, Elkton and Armstrong are at the heart of the SEA Community Help Resource Center’s support to farm and migrant workers in St. Johns County.

The mission began more than 10 years ago as an outreach at the First Baptist Church of Armstrong. It has evolved as the SEA Community Help Resource Center and classifies as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. The center is situated on the campus of First Baptist Church, where the Rev. Alphonso Harvey is the pastor, and retired Palm Coast High School science teacher Ada Harvey is the first lady.

At the far left is First Lady Ada Harvey of First Baptist Church of Armstrong; Kathy Bravo sits in the center, and Malinda Peeples stands at the far right among migrant workers, volunteers, and church members.

At the far left is First Lady Ada Harvey of First Baptist Church of Armstrong; Kathy Bravo sits in the center, and Malinda Peeples stands at the far right among migrant workers, volunteers, and church members.

Farm and migrant workers have been working hard, making contributions to society – planting, gathering, packaging and loading potatoes and cabbage for area stores. The workers earn little and sometimes struggle with no wages, rental arrears, housing, and health care. Yet, the area inhabits teachers, preachers, and other professionals, whose forbears were migrant workers.

Migrant workers have earned support of Executive Director Malinda Peeples and President Margaret Murray for food, clothing, housing assistance, and referrals to other agencies.

The St. Vincent Mobile Unit provides monthly medical attention,
The center also assists in procuring food stamps, toys, books, school supplies, and backpacks. Other provisions include after-school programs, summer recreation and lunch, a computer lab, and college online classes.

How to help
Kathy Bravo partners with SEA Community Help Resource Center. She helps monthly organizing groups like the Ponte Vedra Rotary Club for bringing awareness to migrant workers, hosting dinners, and addressing other issues to secure blankets and electric heaters, including cooking utensils, appliances, and personal hygiene items. Bravo heads Julington Creek Plantation Community, Active Residents Engaged in Service.

All things have worked together in lovingkindness from a world seeking to help migrant and farm workers. If you’d like to donate men’s work clothes or a financial contribution, call the SEA Community Help Resource Center at 904-692-2307, or follow the center on Facebook.

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Sybil Dodson-Lucas, Ways and Means Committee chair of the African American Cultural Society (AACS), is compiling the members’ recipes for a cookbook. Dodson-Lucas is also first vice president of the organization.

If you are a member, please provide Dodson-Lucas with your recipe, a brief recipe history, and your picture emailed to africanameric955@bellsouth.net.

Dodson-Lucas says that everyone has an old family recipe, or one that begs to be shared with grandchildren and children, or with folks who just like learning to cook. She says the target date for “going to press” with the cookbook is April, which is just in time for Easter.

As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted and bereaved.

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