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Heat Stress Prevention Donation Drive with WashMasks

May 27 — Jun 26, 2022

Throughout the run of Bruce, Seattle Rep will be collecting donations in the lobby in partnership with WashMasks to support local farmworkers and their families. Bring your donations when you see any of Seattle Rep’s shows from May 27 - June 26, 2022. You will see bins in the lobby where you can leave your donation. Thank you so much for your support of our local community!  

The Cooling Station Project is aimed at addressing climate's rising temperatures, thus rising hazards for farmworkers (farmworkers have a 20% increased chance of dying of heat stress in the U.S.). Part of this project includes building/assembling shade structures for farmworkers and gathering items to help them prevent heat stress. This project is being done in collaboration with farmworkers, community organizers, and community stakeholders in Wenatchee and Sunnyside.  

Heat Stress Prevention Donation List

  • Reusable or emergency ice packs 
  • Shampoo/conditioner 
  • Soap/body wash 
  • Deodorant 
  • Lotion 
  • Lip balm/Chapstick 
  • Bug repellant 
  • Sunglasses (adult & child sizes) 
  • Protective eyewear against pesticides (adult & child sizes) 
  • Hydration Packs 
  • Long-sleeve cotton t-shirts (light colors only, all sizes) 
  • Gatorade/water with electrolytes 
  • Personal misters (please provide any needed batteries) 
  • Fruit juice 
  • New or gently used baseball hats or sunhats (adult & child sizes) 
  • Small personal fans (please provide any needed batteries) 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Aloe 
  • Box fans
  • Toilet paper

What is heat stress?

Heat Stress is when the body cannot get rid of excess heat leading to heat-related illness. Heat-related illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat rash, or heat stroke. Symptoms can range from sweating to dizziness, cessation of sweating, and collapse. If untreated, heat related illness can lead to heatstroke and become life-threatening. 

  • One can die from heat stress in under two hours. 
  • Farmworkers die of heat-related illness 20 times greater than the entire U.S. civilian workforce. They face risk of heat stress in the fields, packing areas, and housing.
  • Many migrant agricultural workers are at the mercy of their employers for housing. Some farmworker housing fails to have air conditioning, fans, or adequate cooling. This extends their exposure to heat stress. 

How Heat Stress Impacts Farmworkers 

  • On the average day the fields are 8-10 °F hotter than the reported daily high. 
  • Most workplaces do not provide adequate shade (if at all) for breaks. 
  • Most growers and farm owners do not provide water. Some will even charge their workers for bottled water. This is in addition to the fact that there is typically one toilet per 80+ workers that are cleaned and stocked only weekly. 
  • Farmworkers wear many layers to protect themselves from pesticides and sunburn, which makes the heat worse. 
  • Farmworkers work 12 hours or more during peak season (July and August). 

Resources:  

About WashMasks

WashMasks is an all-volunteer initiative led by artists, educators, and the extended arts community who work to bring care, community, and creative joy to Washington farmworkers and their communities. To learn more about WashMasks' work and the communities they work with, check out their website or follow them on Instagram.

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