Her own health issues and COVID-19 ended Marta’s job — but not her work for others

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Editor’s note: This is another in a series of updates on Chatham’s “Neighbor2Neighbor,” a grassroots collaborative project of Abundance NC, the News + Record and the Caremongering Pittsboro Facebook group. N2N’s objective is to connect those in need during the pandemic with those who have the capacity to help. Marcela Slade, an organizer for Neighbor2Neighbor, is Abundance NC’s event coordinator and art director.

It had been a while since I had been in touch with Marta. She joined the VecinoAVecino program because she has varicose veins that weaken her immune system. Because of COVID-19 and the higher risk of infection she had to stop working cleaning houses.

Marta needs help with paying bills and groceries; she also signed up for the produce box distribution. She asked me if it were possible to have her box delivered because she was stuck at home with no car and cooking tamales to make some cash.

Because of her location, I decided to leave Marta as my last stop. When I drove up, she was standing outside her trailer, with a whole kitchen set-up. A huge pot was steaming on an electric two-burner stove. It was about 99 degrees outside and maybe 10 degrees MORE where she was standing! There were tamales ready to be packed up and several packed ready to get picked up. The very familiar corn husk and flour vapor...and meat...and chicken and beef roamed the very humid air. YUM!

Marta told me she shouldn’t be standing there in the heat because of her varicose veins and showed me her bruised ankle, but said someone called in an order of tamales and she had to take it to help her husband. Since she stopped working it was him trying to make ends meet and she didn’t feel it was fair. She said she’d taken breaks. I suggested she raise her legs at night and she said she did.

After I left Marta with an extra box of produce and toilet paper (the toilet paper had been donated to N2N), she sent me off with a pair of the most succulent tamales you can imagine ... and many blessings more.

It was another good day.

Support AbundanceNC with the Neighbor2Neighbor / VecinoAVecino program, many people in your community need your help! OR sign up for help HERE:

If you don’t have time but can support this program financially, write a check to Abundance NC and send to 220 Lorax Lane Box 5 Pittsboro, NC 27312 or use our online GOFUNDME fundraiser: http://gf.me/u/x4xj2c.


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