Farmworker organizations collect donations for Half Moon Bay shooting victims’ families

An outpouring of support by the community and farmworker organizations is directly helping the victims’ families of Monday’s shootings at two farms in Half Moon Bay that left seven people dead.

Farmworker Caravan in San Jose put out the call for emergency supplies to help 40 families affected by the tragedy. Volunteers gathered non-perishable food, clothing and monetary donations Wednesday.

"We knew immediately we were going to do something," founder Darlene Tenes said. "Just to provide them a little bit of comfort."

After collecting bags, bottles and boxes of greatly needed essentials, helping hands took the donations to Ayudando Latinos A Sonar or ALAS, so it could be distributed directly to the victims’ families.

"They’re still processing, and they’re in shock," said Sandra Sancion with ALAS. "They’re out of work. They haven’t been able to return home or where they work."

Sancion said the families have been displaced amid a murder investigation at a nearby hotel and have not been told when they may be able to return home.

A delivery driver left flowers outside the driveway of Mountain Mushroom Farm, one of two crime scenes. It’s a place that one month ago was celebrating with donated tamales for Christmas. Now, it’s marked by crime scene tape.

"It’s sad," the driver said. "You don’t think anything like that would happen out here in Half Moon Bay."

Neighbors like Nancy Rapp drove to the drop-off area downtown along Purissima Street to give away new clothes and a check, in hopes of helping the farmworkers’ families.

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"They work hard for little money. They live in unconscionable circumstances. They’re forgotten," she said. "Just the whole tragedy, I just wanted to do what I could."

Tenes agreed and explained why it has become a mission to make sure they’re seen and cared for.

"This is a community that’s in the shadows. This is a community that is oftentimes vilified. These are hardworking people that are working 40-70 hours a week, and they’re living in poverty," she said.

Outreach groups said they’re most concerned with mental health, especially in children following the mass shooting.

"Unfortunately, a lot of the children were there when the shooting happened so it’s been very traumatic," Tenes said.

ALAS launched its bus offering mental health services and professionals for the victims' families.

For hours Wednesday, community members around the Bay Area visited drop-off sites to provide desperately needed items.

"It’s just a little something I can do to help," Olivia Nunez of Los Altos said. "I hope it helps. [This tragedy] it just breaks my heart."

The Half Moon Bay Strong Fund has been set up to collect donations directly supporting the victims’ families.

Individual fundraisers have also been set up for some of the victims, including for Marciano Martinez-Jimenez and Jose Perez. 

Brooks Jarosz is a reporter for KTVU. Email him at and follow him on Facebook and Twitter @BrooksKTVU