Community Service Opportunities

BOTP is committed to extending our generosity into the Santa Cruz community at large. At the present time we are offering our support to the Center for Farm Worker Families in the following ways.







Sign up now to buy a Christmas gift for a farmworker child! Attend the gift-giving piñata/tamale holiday event on December 17th!

Again this year, as a way to spread our practice into the community, we have the opportunity to share our good fortune and generosity with children from The Center for Farmworker Families [CFF]. Dr. Ann Lopez has given us a list of children and sizes for a warm jacket, a shirt or pants, or a pair of shoes that we may purchase as a Christmas gift for each child.

Carla and the Guiding Circle are encouraging each of us to personally shop for the child we choose. It is more than just a simple gift-giving. “These gifts mean more than just a present to a family,” states Ann. It is a gesture of caring and acknowledgement of the dignity and wellbeing of the farmworker families. It is so appreciated.

How it works: The CFF is asking for one item of clothing per child. You are welcome to sign up for more than one child as well. Sign-up sheets will be circulated at our regular Mon., Wed., Thurs. and Fri. meeting times from Monday, Nov. 20, through Fri., Dec. 8. You can also call Nancy at 408-354-3741 or Isabelle at 831-662-0144 anytime before Wed., December 13.

If you are a last-minute shopper, you need not wrap the gift; just make sure it has the child’s full name on it. We will have gift bags and your gift will get into one before it is handed to a child. It is not necessary to keep the clothing sales tags or labels; if something doesn’t fit one child properly, it will be shared with another. All contributions are valued.

Where to shop: K-Mart, Target, Ross, Costco, Marshalls, Toys/Babies Are Us, Walmart, Sears, Payless (shoes) are all possibilities; you may know of others. Someone will be able to shop for you if you just cannot fit it into your schedule but we would like to encourage you to strengthen your practice through the caring activity of shopping for those who are not as able as we.

December 17th Celebration: 2:00-4:00 p.m., Watsonville

Please bring your labeled and wrapped/unwrapped gift to a sit before the 17th. If you are unable to do that but still plan to attend the party, bring your gift with you. Food will be provided but if you wish to bring something to share, please feel free to do so.

Directions to location of the Christmas Celebration: Pinto Lake Park, 757 Green Valley Rd.:Take Hwy. 1 south from Santa Cruz to Airport Blvd.; exit toward Freedom. Turn left onto Green Valley Road. Park is on left past Holohan Rd.. There will be signs for where to turn in and a “flagger.”

Please do attend! It is a celebration to which the families are looking forward and they so appreciate our caring about them. Come prepared for whatever the afternoon brings – rain or shine – and let us all find joy in this lovely day.

With Metta,
Val, Robin, Isabelle and Nancy [Christmas Project Committee]


A way to express our gratitude to those who gather the food we put daily on our table.

Today in the beautiful California Central Coast, farmworkers and their families are struggling to survive. With an income of $5-8/hour farmworker families live in poverty. Only 10% of children of migrant farmworkers graduate from high school. The average life expectancy for a farmworker in America is 49 years. The U.S. EPA estimates that 300,000 farmworkers are poisoned by pesticides each year nationwide; many cases are never reported.

Here’s how you can participate:
Sangha members are invited to contribute to the non-profit Center for Farmworker Families’ [CFF] supply shed to maintain an inventory of everyday supplies the farmworker families need and cannot afford to buy. Farmworker families are in continuous need of the basic household supplies, listed below, especially in the off-season months when there is no work available in the fields.

Our goal is to collect one or two needed items while we do our own shopping. For example, we go to the store with our shopping list, which includes toilet paper, and we pick up two packages — one for ourselves and one for the farmworkers. Another time we may pick up an extra bottle of dishwashing detergent. We’re not asking members to do this EVERY time we shop; rather, periodically we add an extra item to our cart that we know is needed, and the next time we attend a BOTP event, we bring it along and give it to the designated person for that event. This person will then be sure that it gets to the supply shed for the farmworker families. It’s easy and will be so appreciated.

List of the basics that families need:
• Toilet paper
• Paper towels
• Dishwashing detergent
• Laundry detergent
• Baby items, e.g., diapers (especially sizes 5 & 6) and wipes
• Bath and hand soap
• Shampoo
• Rice
• Beans

This is another way to offer dana, to express our gratitude to those who do back-breaking work many months of the year so that our refrigerators are filled. By contributing to the Oaxacan Community Shed, we offer them our support and let them know they are deeply valued and respected.Thanks so much for caring!
Community Service Committee for Bloom of the Present

To learn more about the Center for Family Farmworkers, make a monetary donation or see more ways to contribute please visit;

“Strawberries were too delicate to be picked by machine. The perfectly ripe ones bruised at even too heavy a human touch. It hit her then that every strawberry she had ever eaten — every piece of fruit — had been picked by callused human hands. Every piece of toast with jelly represented someone’s knees, someone’s aching back and hips, someone with a bandanna on her wrist to wipe away the sweat. Why had no one told her about this before?”
– Alison Luterman, “What They Came For” (from the Sun Magazine)

BOTP also celebrates the holidays with a Farm Worker Family gift giving party in December. Stay tuned to learn how you can join in.