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Niagara Falls
Thursday, February 29, 2024
Online fundraiser to support families of fallen farm workers
Daniel Brown with his wife and daughter. Supplied
Kemar Campbell. FILE PHOTO Supplied
Jeleel Stewart and his family. Supplied

A Niagara-on-the-Lake group wants to do something to make Christmas a little bit brighter for families of farm workers who have died or been injured while working on farms in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

“Seasonal farm workers are our neighbours and friends, not a disposable workforce,” said Jane Andres, who founded Niagara Workers Welcome in 2007. “We are building a caring community together and that care extends to families back home in the Caribbean.” 

The families have faced hardship through tragedy and need help, Andres said.

“No family should have to go through these tragedies alone. For Kemar (Campbell) and Daniel’s (Brown) families, it will be their first Christmas without their loved ones.”

To help, Niagara Workers Welcome is hosting an online fundraiser until Dec. 20 to support the families of three workers who lost their lives or were injured while working in Niagara-on-the-Lake under the federal Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program.

The goal is to raise $3,000 to provide one month of groceries to the three families in Jamaica.

The families being helped include those of 31-year-old Campbell and 34-year-old Brown, both who worked on a NOTL farm and passed away in their sleep.

When Campbell left Jamaica for Niagara, he had a four-month-old daughter and was participating in the farm work program for the first time.

Brown, meanwhile, was the father of two young daughters, a four-year-old and a newborn. Campbell and Brown worked on the same farm and would often connect about the joys of young fatherhood and the pain of family separation.

The third recipient is the family of Jeleel Stewart, who was permanently injured on the job at a NOTL nursery back in 2008.

Suffering from severed tendons and nerves in his hand has prevented him from working for the past 15 years, resulting in the severe decline of his health. Jeleel has five children.

While donations of all sizes are welcome, donations of $100 and more will be entered into a draw to win a one-night getaway at Applewood Hollow Bed and Breakfast, Andres said.

For more information or to donate via eTransfer, please contact niagaraworkerswelcome@gmail.com with the memo “Family Fund.”

Niagara Workers Welcome is a grassroots initiative dedicated to creating a caring community for farm worker neighbours. The organization has co-ordinated efforts to supply welcome bags and events for workers for the past 16 years.

In 2023, 642 seasonal farm workers received welcome kits containing necessities and notes of appreciation. For more information, visit: workerswelcomeniagara.com.

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