Helping migrant farm workers on Johns IslandFor a quarter of a century, Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach has administered to the migrant farm workers on Johns Island, providing food, clothing and toiletries including sun protection.
"Thanks to donations and volunteer efforts, we've expanded to offer much needed dental and medical care," says Sister Carol Wentworth, who supports this wonderful program that is organized by our Wellness Center staff.
Twice a year, usually in June, volunteers and staff make onsite visits to the migrant camps to deliver needed supplies. They bring donated items, including towels and sheets for the spare housing units, hats, sunscreen lotion, bug spray and other protective essentials for the 50 to 75 workers who spend June and July picking produce on local islands.
During each of the four-hour visits, dentists from Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach's Wellness Center provide dental screenings, while dermatologists administer skin checks and provide prescriptions if needed.
"Many of the workers develop skin problems related to pesticide and sun exposure," says Sister Carol. "And some have never been to a dentist." Patients requiring follow-up or immediate attention are referred to our Wellness Center or to another physician if the ailment is outside of the standard care we offer through our dental and pre-natal healthcare programs.
"Donations to Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach go to the local community to help fund programs like this," says Sister Carol. "People donate money and goods specifically for these migrant farm workers. The items and services the workers receive are so basic but make a world of difference in their lives."