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Crime Victim Services adds Longtime Putnam County Volunteer to Elder Portrait Series

Updated: Sep 6, 2022

Ottawa, Ohio,

On Friday, September 2nd, 2022, 11:30 a.m. Crime Victim Services’ Elder Victim Ministry program will dedicate a new portrait in its Elder Portraits series.

As the Labor Day weekend begins, CVS recognizes how much its more than 100 volunteers work behind the scenes toward a community free from violence and oppression. Vicenta Velasquez, the portrait subject, volunteered throughout her life to support migrant workers in Putnam County. Many migrant workers continue to work and live in substandard conditions today. Vicenta’s children and grandchildren continue that work with an organization that she supported from its start in Putnam County: Farm Laborer’s Organizing Committee (FLOC). FLOC has improved the work environments of its members over its 50-year history, including increased wages and housing conditions. FLOC sets up structures where "all those in the [food] supply chain work together to solve problems: corporations, growers and farmworkers."

Vicenta’s portrait was created by Anna Hairston Miller, who states, "I am so honored to have been given the opportunity to commemorate the work of Vicenta “Cindy” Velasquez within the farming communities around Putnam County, Ohio and beyond. During my senior year at Bluffton University, I wanted to combine my majors of Fine Art and Social Work to tell the stories of those experiencing poverty in America today. My hope was to highlight that there is no one “face” of poverty; that it can affect anyone, even those who feel financially secure. As I continued with portraiture post-college and worked closely with older adults in my social work career, I was excited to be asked to paint the portrait of Ms. Velasquez for Crime Victim Services, an agency I have the chance to work side by side with often. With her passion for advocacy, I felt a connection and even though we never had a chance to meet, I know she was a source of inspiration for many."

Last year, Elder Victim Ministry Volunteers and Advocates served 670 elder victims of crime, such as assault, harassment, identity theft, scams, larceny and burglary. Elder Victim Ministry volunteers expand the reach of its staff to offer safety planning, trauma-informed care, justice system guidance and legal and financial recovery. Its services are free. Contact Elysia Bush, Elder Victim Ministry Director,, 419-523-1111 or 1-877-867-7273.

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