Uplyfting Spirits is a 501(c)3 non-profit located in Sierra County, New Mexico that is focused on benefitting the children and Veterans of Truth or Consequences, Elephant Butte, and the surrounding areas of Sierra County.
It all started one Christmas Eve night 13 years ago. Founder and President Denise “D” Addie was sitting in the living room with her family thinking about her father who was a veteran and had passed away. She then began thinking about all of the other Veterans who live in nursing homes and don’t have family to spend Christmas with and it hurt her heart. She decided to throw out a suggestion to her family. “D said ‘Hey, you know what we should do? We should do “Jammies for Veterans” and get pajamas and throw blankets for the Veterans in State nursing homes. Her family thought it was a great idea and so, we all started brainstorming how to do it. That’s where Jammies for Veterans was started 12 years ago this year!
Jammies for Veterans
The idea behind Jammies for Veterans spurred from one of D’s family Christmas traditions. Every Christmas Eve D’s parents would take her and her siblings to see the Christmas lights in Albuquerque on Christmas Eve. When they would return home, there would be presents under the tree that would always contain brand new jammies to wear to sleep in, dream of Santa coming and wake up in Christmas morning. Remembering the joy she felt as a kid, D decided she wanted to make Veterans who were alone celebrating Christmas feel that same joy she felt.
Wish trees are placed around town where people who are interested in donating can pick a Veteran to support. The tags include their name, size, and any special requests like a throw blanket or gloves.
After establishing Jammies for Veterans, D decided she wasn’t going to stop there. “I had always wanted a non-profit, but it takes time, money, and people with the same vision as me. Once I got it sold to Sierra County, and everyone has been loving it. Uplyfting Spirits has been a New Mexico State non-profit since 2020 and officially became a full-fledged 501c3 non-profit in October of 2022.
Toyz 4 Kids
Toyz 4 Kidz was created in response to COVID causing other organizations to fall through on their normal fundraising for low-income families during Christmas. D was approached by the powers that be in Sierra County and was asked to develop a program for kids during Christmas. That is how Toyz 4 Kidz came to be,” says D. This Christmas Uplyfting Spirits will host its fourth Toyz 4 Kidz donation event.
Applications are submitted through area schools, churches, and housing programs. “If the family is low-income or living below the poverty line, we will help them,” says D. Brand new toys and even bicycles are given to children’s parents to be wrapped and given to them on Christmas. In 2022 Uplyfting Spirits touched the lives of 603 kids. A total of 195 bikes were given out as well some sewing machines and even drones.
Uplyfting Spirits will take requests if the child wants something specific, but they will not provide gaming systems and electronics that do not promote imagination, interacting with nature, or getting active. “We want kids to get outside and play and use their imagination,” stresses D.
9/11 We Will Never Forget Williamsburg Monument
Another Uplyfting Spirits project is the 911 We Will Never Forget Monument in Williamsburg, NM. D’s aunt and uncle were victims of the 9/11 Tragedy and passed away in the second tower. She was inspired by the monument when she went to the 10th anniversary in New York. She took a picture and asked one of her welding friends (Badlands 360 phone 575-649-7580) if they could create a similar replica on a little bigger scale. They ended up creating a huge 5′ x 10′ replica and that is how the 9.11 Memorial Monument came to be. There is a solemn remembrance memorial ceremony every 9/11 at the memorial monument that includes a shortened version of the annual bell-ringing ceremony that takes place in New York.
How You Can help
Spend a weekend in T or C jamming out to great country and rock music performed live by local bands from all over the state at Turtleback Mountain Music Festival. The second annual festival is June 9 – 11 at the Truth or Consequences Municipal Golf Course. This three-day event is Uplyfting Spirits’ big annual fundraiser that allows them to continue Jammies for Veterans, Toyz 4 Kidz, and the 9/11 Monument. Enjoy the festival on the luscious greens of the course and relax in the beer gardens. Get the line up, schedule, and the link to buy tickets here.
Although both donation events take place during the Christmas season, Uplyfting Spirits will accept donations for these events anytime of year. Get all the information on how to donate here.
Posted by LasCruces.com