Peninsula Man organizes help for King County farmers

By Jeff Chew
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND -- Donations from Port Townsend residents to a farm have unfolded like the green leaves of cabbage, and come from as far away as Japan, said Richard Glaubman, who spearheaded a drive to help a Kent Valley group of Burundi and Somali refugees.

Donations have flowed in since a story about the refugees' plight was published July 12 in the Peninsula Daily News.

One donation was a $100 check from a resident of Japan, Glaubman said, a teacher at Blue Heron Middle School, who believe the global connection with Japan was a result of the story having been published on the PDN's website,

Three years ago, 100 refugees -- both from Barundi, a poor country that was torn apart by the genocide of the mid-1990s that spilled over from Rwanda, and from the Bantu tribe in Somalia -- landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport not far from where they farm today.

Equipment stolen

But the group that farms the 10 acres in a heavy-industrial area were victimized by metro-suburban crime: All of their gardening equipment was stolen from a storage shed. Lost were a water pump, rototillers, tools and other gardening equipment and supplies.

Glaubman, after reading about their plight, went to Jim Minish, Port Townsend Honda and Marine owner on Sims Way at Mill Road, who donated a new $450 water pump at cost, which amounted to $150 donation.

Soon thereafter, money and tools began to appear.

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