At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir… We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?
— Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, 1843
Here are ways to help others IN Las Cruces and Doña Ana County during the 2022 holiday season.
• U.S. Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots of Doña Ana County collects new, unwrapped toys for boys and girls ages 0 – 14 in 150-plus donation boxes that go up countywide by Nov. 1. Most needed are girls’ makeup, soccer balls, basketballs, games, and other toys for ages 8 and up, and cash to buy toys. Coordinated by Rotary Club of Las Cruces and El Perro Diablo Marine Corps League Detachment #478 of Las Cruces, through Las Cruces, Gadsden, and Hatch school districts. Contact Patty Groth, 575-202-6185, and U.S. Marine (ret.) Joe Montoya, 575-571-7728. Email [email protected].
Visit this website and Las Cruces Toys for Tots on Facebook. Mail donations to Rotary Club of Las Cruces, P.O. Box 1912, Las Cruces, N.M. 88004. Jack and Peggy Petrowsky started Toys for Tots in Las Cruces in 1998, providing toys to 65 children. It provided 16,000 items (11,000 toys plus books and stocking stuffers) to 5,400 children countywide in 2021.
• 29th annual Las Cruces Coats for Kids needs new/gently used coats for children ages birth to fifth grade, sizes infant to adult XL. Take cash donations to Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico, 3880 Foothills Road, Suite A, Las Cruces; mail to Community Action Agency, 3880 Foothills Road, Las Cruces, N.M. 88011; donate online here. Drop-off coats at 101 Gold radio, 101 Perkins Drive; Comet Cleaners, 1) 2001 E. Lohman Ave., 2) 22497 N. Main St., 3) 555 Utah Ave.; D2 Designs, 101 Perkins Drive, suite B; US Bank, 1) 277 E. Amador Ave., 2) 901 E. University Ave., 3) 3790 E. Lohman Ave. Call Coordinator Alycia Jameson at 575-621-4612. Every donation is doubled by Anderson Foundation. Coats for Kids has provided more than 60,000 coats in the past 28 years.
• Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, needs shoebox donations for children worldwide struggling with terrorism, poverty, famine, or disease. No candy, toothpaste, liquids, or toys that represent war. The drop-off center is Grace Covenant Church, 3111 N. Main St. Donations are accepted Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Nov. 14, 16, 18: 3 – 5 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Nov. 15, 17, 19: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 20: 1 – 3 p.m.; Monday, Nov. 21: 9 a.m. – noon.
• Salvation Army Las Cruces Corps needs canned/pre-packaged food, frozen turkeys, toys. Deliver to 1590 California Ave. or call 527-524-1044. Send donations to Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1423, Las Cruces, N.M. 88004. Emergency services for families in need: food: noon – 3 p.m. Thursdays; used clothing, utilities, rental assistance: 8 – 10 a.m. Wednesdays. ID and utility bill required to prove Doña Ana County residency. Volunteer for holiday bell ringing (Monday, Nov. 7 – Saturday, Dec. 24) at 1590 E. California Ave., contact Capt. Michael Evans at 575-524-4713 and [email protected]. Donations of Christmas gifts needed for low-income children for Angel Tree program, contact Capt. Noel Evans at 575-524-4713 and [email protected]. Main location and thrift store, 220 E. Idaho Ave., need donations of new and gently used items; drop off or call 575-524-1590 for pick up. To volunteer, call 575-524-4713.
Visit their website and The Salvation Army Las Cruces Corps and The Salvation Army Family Store Las Cruces on Facebook. Saturday, Dec. 3: Toy Drive, 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., old K-Mart parking lot, 1900 Bataan Memorial East; arrive by 10:30 a.m., bring at least one boy and one girl gift valued at $10 or more each; gifts also accepted at Rudy’s Bar-B-Que, 1020 N. Telshor Blvd.
• La Casa, Inc. domestic violence organization needs non-perishable food items, coats, gifts for teens and children of all ages, household items, furniture, gift cards in any amount, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. Take items to 800 S. Walnut St., Las Cruces, or 325 First St. in Anthony, N.M. 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday – Friday. Mail cash donations to La Casa, Inc., P.O. Box 2463, Las Cruces, N.M. 88004. Donate online here. Volunteers are also needed. Contact Brenda Gonzalez at 575- 526-2819 and [email protected]. Visit La Casa Thrift Store, 812 Spruce Ave., open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday. Donations are welcome.
Visit this website for more information about the thrift store. La Casa, Inc. is an emergency shelter open 24/7, housing up to 90 people. In 2021, La Casa served more than 600 adults and children.
Friday – Sunday, Dec. 2 – 4: La Casa’s 31st annual Holiday Bazaar, Las Cruces Convention Center, 680 E. University Ave. Tickets are $7 for one-day pass, $15 for all three days. 100-plus vendors expected. Find hours and ticket information at lacasainc.org.
• Las Cruces Public Schools’ Project Link Homeless Education program serves about 600 temporarily or permanently homeless students and families each school year. It needs donations of blankets, new winter coats (teenage male, female sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL; sizes 5T – 16 for boys, girls); warm clothing, warmups with long sleeves, beanies, gloves, socks, underwear (all sizes: boys, girls, juniors); diapers (sizes 1 – 4); shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, toothpaste, feminine products, laundry soap, wipes; bath towels, washcloths, snack bags. Take items to Project Link office at Valley View Elementary, 915 E. California St. Mail check, made out to MKV Project Link, to 505 S. Main St., Suite 249, Las Cruces, N.M. 88001 ATTN: Finance Department. Contact Ray Banegas, 575-527-6688 and [email protected]; Cecilia Montoya, Carla Solis Holguin, Margarita Solis and Juliette Paez-Pearcy at 575-527-5858.
• CRA Parents Support (Children’s Reading Alliance) local nonprofit engages families and community in childhood literacy through its Raising Readers Together branches: First Teacher/Primer Maestro parent support program, Reading Buddies and the distribution of thousands of children’s books into local households. Donations of new/gently used books for children ages birth – 8 (no religious books) are welcome.
• Project Linus needs new, washable, handmade quilts, afghans, and fleece blankets to give to local children who are ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need; they are seeking blanket-making materials, postage stamps, cash donations, and gift cards to Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts. Drop off fabric, yarn, other donations at Sew What’s New, 3961 E. Lohman Ave. #9; Be Sew Creative (formerly Bernina Sewing and Design Center), 1601 E. Lohman Ave.; Joann Fabrics, 1711 E. University Ave.; Threadbear fabric store, 2204B S. Main St. Mail donations to Susan Stoltzfus, P.O. Box 116, Mesilla Park, N.M. 88047. Contact Stoltzfus at 575-526-3695 and [email protected].
Visit the Project Linus website and see them on Facebook. “See examples of the blankets we donate and visit with Linus members at our booth at La Casa Bazaar,” Stoltzfus said.
• 35th annual Rio Grande Rotary Club Las Cruces Dress the Child program buys new clothes and shoes for needy children. In 2021, it served 150 children, 300 in 2020 (both years’ numbers were reduced because of COVID-19, 537 in 2019, 15 in 1984 (the first year). Participating children are chosen by Las Cruces, Gadsden school districts; each receives $130-$150 in new clothes and shoes, which many have never had before. Mail donations to LCRGRF Dress the Child, P.O. Box 550, Las Cruces, N.M. 88004, or deliver to Julie Koenig, First New Mexico Bank, 3000 E. Lohman Ave. Contact Doug Boberg at 575-644-9469 and [email protected].
• Mesilla Valley Community of Hope: People experiencing homelessness need new or gently used coats, blankets, socks, gloves, tents, towels, shampoo, soap, toiletries. Mail cash donations to MVCH, P.O. Box 16526, Las Cruces, N.M. 88004. Donate online here. Call 575-523-2219 or email [email protected]. MVCH, 999 W. Amador Ave. During FY 2021-22, MVCH served 4,714 clients (3,263 in FY 2020-21), provided shelter to 277 (254 in 2020) in Camp Hope tent city, provided housing to 701 people, including 158 children.
• Tutti Bambini Children’s Store nonprofit (opened 2013) sells gently used children’s clothing, toys and more. Proceeds benefit local and border-area outreach programs for children challenged by poverty and special needs. Donations of items to sell and cash donations are welcome; especially needed are children’s clothes, sizes 2T-8, all sizes of coats, heavy jackets, pajamas, clothes for ages nine months and older, Christmas toys. Open 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday. 300 El Molino Blvd., (near the intersection of Alameda and Main). Contact Sister Beth at 575-640-1997 or [email protected], Jeanne at 575-556-9752. Visit this website or Facebook @tuttibambinilc.
• Jardin de Los Niños supports homeless/near homeless children and families. As the holiday season and colder weather approach, Jardin seeks donation support. In addition to its Adopt-A-Family campaign, Jardin, which opened in 1995, will accept in-kind donations and items it needs most: diapers and pull-ups (especially sizes 4, 5), baby wipes, cleaning products (sanitizing sprays, wipes), hygiene products (soap, shampoo, conditioner, Q-tips, etc.), zipper storage bags (gallon and quart sizes). Donations accepted 10 – 11 a.m. Mondays and by appointment at 999 W. Amador Ave. (Mesilla Valley Community of Hope). Volunteers welcome. Call 575-522-2111, email [email protected]. Open 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday – Thursday, 7:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Friday. Mail donations to Jardin de Los Niños, 1300-G El Paseo, PMB #272, Las Cruces, N.M. 88001.
Donate at their website. Jardin’s La Tienda Ladies Boutique, 335 La Colonia Ave. (southwest corner of Alameda Boulevard and Main Street) is open 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday – Friday; 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday.; donations of new and gently used clothing, jewelry, household accepted Mondays and Saturdays during regular hours or by appointment. Call 575-541-9746.
• Gospel Rescue Mission provides support and services for the homeless. Greatest needs are winter coats and caps, blankets, socks, men’s and women’s underwear. Donations of turkeys, hams, green beans, corn, yams, fixings needed for Thanksgiving and Christmas. GRM provides thousands of meals and overnight lodging to men, women, children; provides new shoes and clothes to hundreds of children for back to school. Take food, other donations to GRM, 1050 W. Amador Ave. Donate online or mail to Las Cruces Gospel Rescue Mission, P.O. Box 386, Las Cruces, N.M. 88004.
Visit Rock of Ages Thrift Store, 1420 S. Solano Drive. Visit the website or Facebook page for more information. Call 575-523-7727 to volunteer or for pickup of larger donated items. Email [email protected]. “We are currently in a building program; the first building is nearing completion; watch for the announcement of construction for the second building,” said GRM Executive Director Henry Young. GRM was founded in 1972 by Rev. Darrel Bean. “We are now 50 years into aiding the homeless for a better life,” Young said.
• El Caldito Soup Kitchen needs milk, turkeys, hams, canned goods, salad dressings, salt, pepper, spices, sliced cheese, bottled water, soda pop, holiday pies and cakes; foam cups and three-compartment containers; plates, napkins; utensils. Take items to El Caldito’s back door, 999 W. Amador Ave. (Mesilla Valley Community of Hope), 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Sunday – Friday, 8 a.m. – noon Saturday. Contact Laura Alvarado at 575-525-3831, 575-649-6507, [email protected].
Mail donations to El Caldito, P.O. Box 2833, Las Cruces, N.M. 88004. Donate at their website. Volunteers needed onsite to prepare and serve food, wash dishes, clean; to raise funds; and to pick up food donations. El Caldito has served more than two million meals since it was founded in 1984. It serves more than 90,000 meals a year.
• 11th annual Christmas Shoe Box Project for children in Palomas, Mexico. Southern New Mexico churches, groups, local New Mexico Department of Health employees take shoeboxes filled with gifts for children; coats, and blankets to Palomas each December. Shoebox items: toy cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, yo-yos, etch-a-sketches, jump ropes, slinkies, simple baby pull toys (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, tee shirts, barrettes, toy jewelry, inexpensive watches, hard candy, lollipops (put candy in plastic baggies). Pick a boy or girl for each shoebox (or small plastic container), ages 2 – 4, 5 – 9, 10 – 14. Tape identifying label to box top. If box is wrapped, wrap lid separately for border inspection. You may add a note in Spanish in each box. Take filled boxes and loose items to the New Mexico Public Health Office, 1170 N. Solano Drive, by 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16. Contact Angie Sanchez Corral, 575-528-5123, [email protected].
• CARE (Cancer Aid Resource & Education, Inc.) helps recently diagnosed, eligible Doña Ana County cancer patients in treatment with financial assistance for non-medical needs so they can focus on treatment, recovery and survival: gas cards to get to treatment, food and nutritional supplement cards, rent and mortgage payments, self-pay health insurance, utilities, phone, and out-of-county medical travel expenses. CARE’s greatest need is monetary donations. Mail to CARE, 118 S. Water St., Las Cruces, N.M. 88001. Contact Yoli Diaz, 575-649-0598, [email protected]. Visit their website for more information.
• Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico connects donors to needs and supports a variety of nonprofits throughout Southern New Mexico while helping feed the hungry, supporting the arts, expanding literacy, improving health through 315 endowments serving 10 southern New Mexico counties. Contact Terra Winter at 575-521-4794, [email protected]. Donate online here. Mail checks to 2640 El Paseo Road, Las Cruces, N.M. 88001, which is CFSNM’s new home beginning in 2022.
• Tresco, Inc., a nonprofit that provides job placement services to people with disabilities, needs donations for Thanksgiving food baskets and Christmas toys for less fortunate families it serves. Donations of any amount are welcome. $75 provides a family with a Thanksgiving food basket. $150 provides Christmas toys for a family. $225 provides both. You can also donate food and new toys. Donations requested by Nov. 7. Take donations to Tresco, 1800 Copper Loop, or contact Stacie Allen at 575-528-2206 and [email protected]. Mail donations to Tresco, Inc. 1800 Copper Loop, Las Cruces, N.M. 88005 c/o Stacie Allen. Visit the website.
• Third annual Foster a Senior Program hopes to provide 50 care packages ($30 each) to seniors at a Las Cruces facility. Mail donations of any amount to Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter, P.O. Box 21400, Albuquerque, N.M. 87154. Donate these items for care packages: puzzles, toothbrushes, hand sanitizer, lotion, fuzzy socks, adult coloring books/colored pencils, tissues. Deadline: Tuesday, Dec. 14. Contact Pam Rodgers, 575-647-3688, [email protected], to drop off donations or have them picked up.
• Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico began in 1964 and serves Doña Ana and four other southwest New Mexico counties, providing services to help families facing adversities, including Coats for Kids, youth entrepreneurship (Kids Can), child nutrition programs, free tax preparation, small business development. Contact Mark Hohnstreiter, 575-527-8799, [email protected]. Mail donations to CAASNM, 3880 Foothills Road, Suite A, Las Cruces, N.M. 88011. Donate online here.
• N.M. Children Youth and Families Department Protective Services in Doña Ana County needs donations of new clothing, shoes, gift cards, nonperishable foods. Take donations to 2805 N. Roadrunner Parkway. Contact Alicia Antes at [email protected]. CYFD administers state child welfare services to protect children from abuse and neglect by a parent, guardian or custodian and to provide for the well-being and securing permanency of the children in its care.
• Turning Point of Las Cruces needs diapers (sizes newborn and 5/6, especially size 6), pullups size 2T, wipes, new and gently used baby clothes, especially warm winter clothes, sizes infant-2T. Take donations to 3201 S. Main St., suite C, Las Cruces, N.M. 88005 (call first, 575-522-8378, if possible). Open 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday – Thursday. Monetary donations welcome here. See the Turning Point Amazon wish list here.
Turning Point, a nonprofit, is a program for women who are pregnant and/or have new babies, offering free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. Through its Earn While You Learn education program, participants earn points they can redeem for diapers, wipes and baby clothes as they learn to care for themselves and their children. Turning Point celebrated its 12th anniversary in 2022.
• St. Andrews Episcopal Church seeks donations for three projects: 1) Christmas Shoebox Ministry: donate wrapped or unwrapped shoeboxes with toys for underserved children in Southern New Mexico, or make a financial donation so St. Andrews can buy shoebox items; 2) Angel Tree 2022: Beginning Sunday, Nov. 27, St. Andrews will have a table at each 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sunday service to distribute angel tags with the names of local children in need to buy gifts for and return to the church; 3) St. Andrews has a collection barrel for donations of warm clothing and small Christmas gifts for Navajo adults and children supported by St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School in Thoreau, N.M. Tuesday, Nov. 15, is the St. Bonaventure donation deadline.
Drop off donations or send a check or money order to St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 518 N. Alameda Blvd. Las Cruces, N.M. 88005. Office hours are: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Tuesday – Friday. Donate online here. Contact St. Andrews at 575-526-6333 and [email protected].
Consider adopting or giving a PET as a holiday gift and/or donating and volunteering
• Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary needs fleece throw blankets, Purina One beef or chicken canned dog food, Purina Beyond canned and dry cat food, Friskies Party Mix cat treats, Milk Bones (mini and small sizes), clumping cat litter, disposable gloves (large), toilet paper, paper towels, tall kitchen trash bags, scented laundry detergent, Dawn dishwashing liquid, Clorox unscented bleach, disinfecting wipes, and Ziploc bags (all sizes). Take donations to SHAS Thrift Store, 840 El Paseo Road, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. Mail donations to Safe Haven, P.O. Box 16227, Las Cruces, N.M. 88004-6227. Donate online here. Sanctuary: 575-805-5338, [email protected]. Thrift store: 575-541-4942. SHAS, founded in 1996, is a no-kill, nonprofit adoption center for homeless cats and dogs.
• Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley brings in 9,000 – 10,000 animals a year, either strays picked up by city/county animal control or brought in by the public, or pets given up by owners. 450 – 500 or more animals are housed at ASCMV at any given time. Donations help. Links to ASCMV wish lists here. Needed: KMR kitten formula, Miracle Nipples, and soft swaddle blankets for bottle-baby kittens, large dog crates, doggie dental chews, soft dog treats, kitty litter, cat toys, sturdy leashes (for bigger dogs especially), towels, and blankets (no filling). Cash donations welcome by mail to ASCMV, 3551 Bataan Memorial West, Las Cruces, N.M. 88012, or online here or call 575-382-0018 and talk to Yoli Jurado to volunteer or Vanessa Chastain to foster an animal. Loving, forever homes for animals is ASCMV’s biggest holiday wish. Visit https://ascmv.org/adoptable-animals/ and facebook.com/ASCMV for holiday and all-year adoption specials. Please spay and neuter your pets.
• The Cat’s Meow Adoption Center welcomes cash donations. 2211 N. Mesquite St., 575-640-0011, [email protected]. Donate online here. Mail donations to The Cat’s Meow, P.O. Box 3166, Las Cruces, N.M. 88003. Adult cats, kittens available for adoption. Volunteers and foster families welcome. Cat’s Meow has found homes for 1,600 cats since 2014.
• ACTion Programs for Animals Second Chance Thrift Store needs cash donations to pay vet bills year-round. APA has rescued more than 5,500 dogs and cats since 2012, most from the municipal shelter. It has a pet food bank, prison dog-training program, low-cost clinics. Adoption center, 537 N. Solano Drive, open 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday. Donate online here. Nov. 25 – Jan. 1: Home for the Holidays, half-off pet adoptions (except small dogs). Call 575-644-0505, email [email protected]. Second Chance Thrift Store, 2475 N. Main St., open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday- Saturday; donations welcome. Nov. 23 – 30: online holiday auction with Mesilla Valley Estate Sales.
FOOD BANKS (nmfoodbanks.org) need donations and volunteers
• Aggie Cupboard is a free service that distributes food to NMSU/Doña Ana Community College students, staff, faculty in Las Cruces; present current NMSU ID to qualify. Food distribution: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Tuesday, 3 – 6 p.m. Wednesday, or email [email protected] for appointment. Food donations: Take to 906 Gregg St., NMSU, 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. Tuesday, 1 – 3 p.m. Thursday, or e-mail for appointment. Needed are canned chicken and tuna, peanut butter, soup, canned fruit and vegetables, cereal, evaporated milk, cooking oil, and toiletries. Call 575-646-7636, email [email protected].
Donate online here, Aggie Cupboard at NMSU on Facebook. Aggie Cupboard began in 2012. It distributed 10,180 pounds of food in spring 2021, 2,280 in summer 2021. Pete’s Pantry mobile food pantry distributed 26,000 pounds of food, February – July 2021.
• Casa de Peregrinos emergency food program helps food-insecure families in Doña Ana County. Donate to “Hope for the Holidays” online here or mail/take donations to Casa de Peregrinos, 999 W. Amador Ave. Suite F. Las Cruces, N.M. 88005. (Thanksgiving food drive continues until Wednesday, Nov. 9). Call 575-523-5542, email [email protected]. Donations: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday; food assistance: 9 – 11 a.m./1 – 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
Bring ID and recent proof of address for food assistance. Volunteers are needed. $50 provides 300 meals, $100 feeds an average family for a month. CdP provides food at 28 county locations, including Las Cruces pantry, 13 mobile food pantries. Since 2019, CdP has provided: 11.4 million meals to 30,000-plus annual clients since 2019 (2021: 4.22 million, 2020: 3.934 million, 2019: 2 million); 134,000 food baskets (2021: 41,479, 2020: 52,079, 2019: 39,710); CdP Hunger Strike raised $75,000 in 2022 (2021: $51,000, 2020: $31,000). CdP was founded in 1979 by La Mesa, N.M. residents, and Holy Cross Catholic Church parishioners.
• Roadrunner Food Bank, New Mexico’s largest hunger-relief organization, provides food to hundreds of partners in 16 counties around the state, including food distribution sites in Doña Ana County. In New Mexico, one in five children and one in eight people overall is at risk of experiencing hunger. One of the best ways to help is through financial contributions. Donations of funds help Roadrunner source, acquire and distribute food. In December, gifts are doubled thanks to AmeriHealth Caritas, the Abram and Ray Kaplan Foundation, and Smith’s Food and Drug Stores, with matches up to $135,000.
To donate, call 505-349-8909 or give online here. Volunteers are also needed for outreach in Southern New Mexico. To learn more about these opportunities, email [email protected]. For food assistance, call 575-523-4390 or visit the website here. They can also help people in need apply for SNAP (food stamps) and other public benefits. Call 844-684-6268 or email [email protected]. Roadrunner provides essential food to tens of thousands of children, adults and seniors every week through a statewide network of hunger-relief partners. Visit the website or email [email protected] for more information.
List compiled by Mike Cook.
Posted by LasCruces.com