The Hartville Migrant Ministry was established in 1962 to assist Jamaican migrant workers who were brought to Hartville to work on the fertile muck farms. Over 60 years later, HMM is still working to fulfill its original mission of serving Hartville’s migrant community and improving their quality of life through a plethora of programs. These services include a free medical clinic, English classes, youth programs, Spiritual programming and more.
Our Center houses the oldest free medical clinic in Ohio and possibly the oldest medical facility in the United States dedicated to treating migrant farmworkers. Currently, nearly 200 men, women and children come to Hartville each year to work on several farms, planting, tending and harvesting the produce. During the winter months these families relocate to Mexico, Jamaica, or warmer states in the South. Due to the strenuous nature of their work, difficult living conditions and transient lifestyle, migrant farmworkers are among the most economically disadvantaged and most medically vulnerable groups in the United States.
Message from the Board President, Lora Wyss
In 1999, I began bringing nursing students to the Hartville Migrant Clinic for their community experience. Over the years, I became more involved by volunteering at the medical clinic with Dr’s LeFranc and Wurst. Eventually, I was asked to join the Hartville Migrant Ministry (HMM) Board of trustees, and years later became Board President.
Migrant Farmworkers are often invisible members of our community. With their long hours and social isolation, migrants not only need healthcare but social-emotional and spiritual support as well. HMM meets all of these needs and more. It’s an incredible gift to be able to provide these services to the migrant community, but what I enjoy most is building relationships with the families. I’ve watched children grow up year by year (as many of the families return annually to Hartville), and now I’m getting to meet the children of the children I took care of over 20 years ago. When I go on home visits, I’m not just a nurse providing care, but a friend taking care of families I know and love.
Don’t just take it from me though – ask anyone involved in any capacity at HMM and they’ll tell you what a positive experience it is. Volunteering at HMM is a helpful action but it’s also an opportunity to really learn about the benefits of community-building and cross-cultural interaction. Since the organization’s inception in the 1960’s, we’ve received incredible support from the Hartville community, especially from local church congregations. We’re extremely blessed to have this support and are always looking to expand our network and share the goodness taking place at HMM. We’d love to have you join us!