Although it’s early fall, several Florida agricultural organizations already are working on their Christmas cards through an annual fundraiser for RCMA, the rural child care and education provider.

Children from RCMA centers statewide drew colorful, unique Christmas scenes that are being converted into holiday greeting cards to raise money for the non-profit organization, which cares for more than 6,200 children of migrant farm workers and rural, low-income families statewide.

New this year is holiday stationery, for those who like to send letters to friends and families inside their cards, with decorative borders that incorporate the children’s designs.

Leading the effort for the seventh year is DUDA, based in Oviedo, with help from the Florida Farm Bureau, Florida Citrus Mutual, the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, the Florida Department of Agriculture’s Division of Plant Industry, Florida Grower Magazine, Florida Tomato Committee and retired FFVA executive George Sorn of Orlando, former president and longtime member of the RCMA Board of Directors.

“The annual RCMA Christmas card project is one of many ways Florida agriculture supports seasonal farm workers and their families,” Sorn said. “Knowing that migrant children composed the artwork makes sending holiday greetings all the more special.”

Several organizations have also contributed $500 each to underwrite printing costs, Sorn added. The “Print Angels” for 2005 include DUDA, Florida Citrus Mutual, Florida Farm Bureau, Pacific Tomato Growers, Six L’s Packing Co., The Packer, Tomatoes of Ruskin and Wishnatzki Farms. Contributing time and services are Activities Press, Creative Printing & Graphic Design and Meister Publishing Co.

This year’s selections, going out in brochures to Florida agribusiness and affiliated organizations, include a general selection of 10 colorful designs; 10 additional unique drawings have been set aside for exclusive orders. Several growers have already ordered from the exclusive list, Sorn said.

The general-selection cards come in packets of 10 for $15; exclusive cards require a minimum order of 100 cards. Note cards for year-round use are available, too.

Proceeds from this year’s card sales will be matched 100 percent by the Naples Children and Education Foundation to complete the third floor of RCMA’s charter school in Immokalee. RCMA is under a March 2006 deadline to raise $500,000 in order to receive the $500,000 “challenge grant” from the foundation.

To order cards, receive a brochure or for more information, contact Judy Brill at (888) 445-7415 or judy@rcma.org.