This is Kian, a senior at Lincoln High School and a member of the Project32 team. On August 7, Avi, Robbie and I went to a migrant camp to educate children on proper dental hygiene practices, as well as provide some entertainment and fun activities. Every year, during the summer berry-growing season in Oregon, farmers come up from California to harvest the berries. Their children come with them and are situated in migrant camps such as the one we visited.
We started by going to an office of Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, the organization that organizes the camp visits. We helped the VG staff and volunteers pack their supplies into their van, and once we were ready to go we piled in Robbie’s car and set off for the migrant camp. We pulled into big gravel lot with a green lawn with trees and picnic tables on the right. Behind it, we saw the building that housed the migrant workers that we would be interacting with today. We looped around the gravel lot and parked the car behind the house, then we unloaded our supplies and began to set up our Project32 table. We helped move several picnic tables into a row in front of the house and placed our dental hygiene kits across our table. We also took out a chess board and soccer ball so that we could more easily engage the children.
Robbie and Kian at the Virginia Garcia office before the camp visit
The Project32 table at the camp with donations from our generous donors. Thank you for your support!
Avi and Robbie posing with dental hygiene kits.
After setting up our table, I sat down and eagerly waited for the children to start showing up. No one had come yet so Robbie and Avi played a game of chess, except that Avi had his back to the board and was still beating him. Eventually, a few migrant workers showed up to our table, and one played a round of chess with Avi. Still, however, no children showed up. Eventually, lots of adults came out to get food from the Food Bank truck that also came out with Virginia Garcia, but none of them came over to our table.
Finally, one young boy named Alex came to our table. We asked if he had a toothbrush and if he knew how to brush his teeth, and he said yes. Although we didn’t provide any of our services to him, we still got to play soccer and cornhole with him as he talked about his favorite things to do in Minecraft.
Although I didn’t get to see or interact with many of the migrant workers, I still had a good time on our visit, and it was a great opportunity to form meaningful partnerships with an established charity organization.
Until next time!