Help during the holidays: homeless students, reading, blankets, shoe boxes for the children of Palomas
By Mike Cook
âIn this festive season of the year, Mr. Scroogeâ¦ Desire is keenly felt and Abundance rejoices,â as Charles Dickens said in his 1843 short story, âA Christmas Carolâ.
There are many ways to help those in need this holiday season here in Las Cruces and throughout DoÃ±a Ana County and the border region. A financial donation of any amount is greatly appreciated, as are our donations of other items and volunteer work.
The Bulletin will provide information on other organizations as the vacations continue. If you missed the stories we ran about The Salvation Army, Toys for Tots of DoÃ±a Ana County, Coats for Kids of Las Cruces, and the domestic violence program La Casa, Inc., let us know and we will. we can send them to you.
Here is information on five programs to help others during the holidays and throughout the year.
- Operation Christmas Child needs shoebox donations for children around the world struggling with terrorism, poverty, famine and disease. He asks that no candy, toothpaste, liquid or toy depicting war be included. You can visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ to learn how to pack a shoebox. You can also donate online or deliver your filled shoebox to Grace Covenant Church, 3111 N. Main St., which is this year’s drop-off center. Donations can be delivered from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, November 19; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, November 18 and 20; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, November 21; and from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Monday, November 22. Contact Stephanie Muir at [email protected]
- Las Cruces Public Schools Project Link Homeless Education Project Link serves around 600 students and families who are temporarily or permanently homeless each school year. He needs donations of blankets and new winter coats for teens, men and women, sizes S, M, L, XL and XXL; sizes 5t-16 for boys and girls; warm clothing, long-sleeved warm-ups, hats, gloves, socks and underwear of all sizes for boys and girls; diapers, sizes 1-4; shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, toothpaste, feminine products, laundry soap, wipes, bath towels, washcloths and snack bags. You can deliver items to the Project Link office at Valley View Elementary School, 915 E. California St. Contact Ray Banegas at 575-527-6688 and [email protected]; contact Cecilia Montoya, Carla Solis Holguin, Margarita Solis and Juliette Paez-Pearcy at 575-527-5858.
- Children’s Reading Alliance (CRA) is a voluntary organization that engages local families and community in children’s literacy through its Raising Readers Together programs: First Teacher / Primer Maestro; Reading buddy volunteers; and Summer Books, which distributes 10,000 quality children’s books to keep kids reading all summer long. Donate to www.childrensreadingalliance.org. You can also add CRA to your Amazon Smile account. And, you can donate new and lightly used books for ages 0-8 (no religious books). Contact Jennifer Alvarado at 575-522-3713 or [email protected]
- Linus Projectneeds new, washable, handmade quilts, afghans and fleece blankets to give to children in the area who are sick, traumatized or in need. It welcomes donations of blanket, postage stamp, cash and gift card manufacturing materials to Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts. Drop off fabric, yarn and other donations at Sew What’s New, 3961 E. Lohman Ave. No. 9; Be Sew Creative (formerly Bernina Sewing and Design Center), 1601 E. Lohman Ave .; Jo-Ann Fabrics, 1711 E. University Ave .; and Threadbear Fabric Store, 2204B S. Main St. Send your donations to Susan Stoltzfus, PO Box 116, Mesilla Park, NM 88047. Contact Stoltzfus at 575-526-3695 and [email protected] Visit www.projectlinus.org and on Facebook.
- 10th annual Christmas shoebox project for the children of Palomas, Mexico. Churches and other groups in southern New Mexico are teaming up with local New Mexico Department of Health workers to collect and deliver shoe boxes filled with children’s gifts, coats and blankets, to Palomas each December. Shoebox items can include toy cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, yoyos, Etch-A-Sketches, jump ropes, slinkies, simple pull toys for babies (no toys with batteries, toy guns or knives); school supplies (pencils, pens, blunt scissors, pencil sharpeners, stamp / ink pad sets, solar calculators, coloring books, stories in Spanish); hygiene items (soap, combs, toothpaste, toothbrushes, lotion, washcloths, etc.); also: socks, underwear, warm hats, mittens / gloves, T-shirts, barrettes, jewelry toys and inexpensive watches. You can also include hard candy and lollipops; place them in a separate plastic bag. Pick a boy or girl for each shoebox (or small plastic container), ages 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Stick an ID tag to the top of the box. If you are packing the box, wrap the lid separately so that the box can be inspected at the US-Mexico border. You can add a note in Spanish in each box. Bring filled boxes and / or loose items to the drop box near the entrance to the New Mexico Public Health Unit, 1170 N. Solano Drive, by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 17. Contact Angie Sanchez Corral, 575-528-5123, angie. [email protected]