Note: This list was compiled by the Las Cruces Bulletin’s Mike Cook and shared with the Sun-News. Have something to add? Email Leah Romero at [email protected].
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 countywide after Nov. 1. Especially needed are soccer balls, basketballs, games, other toys for ages 8 and up. 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, or U.S. Marine (ret.) Joe Montoya, 575-571- 7728. Email [email protected]. Visit http://las-cruces-nm.toysfortots.org/local-coordinatorsites/lco-sites/donate-toys.aspx 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.
Toys for Tots began in Las Cruces in 1998, providing toys to 65 children. It provided 18,000 toys, books and stocking stuffers to 5,500 children countywide in 2020. “None of our significant fundraisers happened in 2020 (because of Covid), so we need cash to buy toys,” Groth said, along with new, unwrapped toys.
27th annual U.S. Bank Las Cruces Coats for Kids needs new/gently used coats for children ages birth to fifth grade, sizes infant to adult XL. Drop off at Las Cruces Comet Cleaners, 2001 E. Lohman Ave., 2497 N. Main St. and 555 Utah Ave. Send cash donations to Coats for Kids, c/o U.S. Bank, 277 E. Amador Ave., Las Cruces, N.M. 88001. Donate online at www.LasCrucesCoatsforKids.com. Call Coordinator Alycia Jameson at 575-621-4612.
Coats for Kids has provided nearly 60,000 coats to needy children in the past 26 years. Every 2021 donation will be doubled thanks to Anderson Foundation.
Operation Christmas Child needs shoebox donations for children worldwide struggling with terrorism, poverty, famine, disease. No candy, toothpaste, liquids or toys that represent war. Grace Covenant Church, 3111 N. Main St. is the drop-off center. Donations accepted Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Nov. 15, 17, 19: 4-6 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Nov. 16, 18, 20: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 21: 1-4 p.m.; Monday, Nov. 22: 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Stephanie Muir: [email protected]. Visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ to donate online and to learn how to pack a shoebox.
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. 8-Friday, Dec. 24) at 1590 E. California Ave., contact Capt. Michael Evans, 575-524-4713, [email protected].
Donations of Christmas gifts needed for low-income children for Angel Tree program; contact Capt. Noel Evans, 575- 524-4713, [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 http://lascruces.salvationarmy.org/; Facebook: The Salvation Army Las Cruces Corps and The Salvation Army Family Store Las Cruces.
Saturday, Dec. 4: 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, food baskets, coats, blankets, toys, gifts for children of all ages and adults, household items, furniture, gift cards (especially for teens) in any amount, clothing (especially professional for men and women), toiletries; laptops and tablets, books; adopt a La Casa family to buy holiday gifts for. Take items to 800 S. Walnut St. in 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 at www.lacasainc.org/donations. Volunteers also needed. Contact Flor Gonzalez at 575-526-2819 or [email protected] Visit www.lacasainc.org. La Casa’s emergency shelter, open 24/7, houses up to 90 people.
Opened in 1981, La Casa shelter and programs served 482 people, including 186 women, 24 men and 272 children, in 2020. Friday-Sunday, Dec. 3-5: La Casa’s 30th annual Holiday Bazaar, Las Cruces Convention Center, 680 E. University Ave. Dec. 3: 4:30-7:30 p.m., Dec. 4: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Dec. 5: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets at lacasainc.org are $6 for one day, $15 for all three days. 90 vendors are expected.
Las Cruces Public Schools’ Project Link Homeless Education Project Link 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. Contact Ray Banegas, 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 is a volunteer organization that engages local families and community in childhood 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. Donations go a long way. Donate at www.childrensreadingalliance.org, Add CRA to your Amazon Smile account. Donate new/gently used books for children ages birth to 8 (no religious books). Contact Jennifer Alvarado at 575-522-3713 or [email protected].
Project Linus needs new, washable, handmade quilts, afghans, fleece blankets to give to local children who are ill, traumatized or otherwise in need; blanket-making materials, postage stamps, cash donations, 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 www.projectlinus.org and on Facebook.
“See examples of the blankets we donate and visit with Linus members at our booth at La Casa Bazaar,” Stoltzfus said.
34th annual Rio Grande Rotary Club Las Cruces Dress the Child program buys new clothes and shoes for needy children. (2020: 300 served; 2019: 537; 1984 (first year): 15). Participating children are chosen by Las Cruces and Gadsden school districts; each receives $130-$150 in new clothes and shoes. Send donation checks to Dress the Child, P.O. Box 550, Las Cruces, N.M. 88004, or take them to Julie Koenig, First New Mexico Bank, 3000 E. Lohman Ave. in Las Cruces. Contact Doug Boberg at 575-644-9469 or [email protected].
The annual fundraising dinner, which usually raises more than $50,000, was not held in 2020 or 2021 because of the pandemic, so cash donations are more important than ever.
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 at www.mvcommunityofhope.org. Call 575-523- 2219 or email [email protected]. MVCH, 999 W. Amador Ave., served 3,263 clients in FY 2020-21 (2,744 in FY 2019-20), including 228 veterans (317 in 2019), and provided shelter to 254 (234 in 2019) in Camp Hope tent city. It provided housing to 809 people (570 in FY 2019-20), including 258 (150) 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 boys’ clothes, sizes 2T-8; coats for boys and girls, all sizes; new or almost new Christmas toys. Open 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. 300 El Molino Blvd., (near intersection of Alameda and Main). Contact Sister Beth at 575-640-1997 or [email protected], Jeanne at 575-556-9752. Visit www.meetlascruces.com/Tutti-Bambini-in-Las-Cruces.html, Facebook @tuttibambinilc.
Jardín de Los Niños supports homeless/near homeless children and families. As the holiday season and colder weather approach, Jardín seeks donation support. In addition to its Adopt-A-Family campaign, Jardín, which opened in 1995, will only 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, currently through virtual support. 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. Fridays, closed for deep cleaning, 2-5 p.m. Mail donations to Jardín de Los Niños, 1300-G El Paseo, PMB #272, Las Cruces, N.M. 88001. Donate online at www.jardinlc.org.
Shop at Jardín’s La Tienda Ladies Boutique, 335 La Colonia Ave. (at the southwest corner of Alameda Boulevard and Main Street); donations of new and gently used clothing, jewelry, household items welcome. Open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, closed for deep cleaning, 3-5 p.m. Donations 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 at www.lcgrm.org 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 www.lcgrm.org and www.facebook.com/lcgrminc. Call 575-523-7727 to volunteer or for pick-up of larger donated items. Email [email protected].
“We are currently in a building program; watch for the demolition of the two old buildings out front,” said GRM Executive Director Henry Young. “This is a great time for a building-fund donation!” GRM was founded in 1972 by Rev. Darrel E. Bean. It moved to west Amador Avenue in 1988. GRM purchased its thrift shop and clothing store in 1990.
El Caldito Soup Kitchen needs salad dressings, salt, pepper, spices, sliced cheese, bottled water; soda pop, holiday pies and cakes; paper goods: cups, plates, napkins, utensils, three-compartment foam containers. 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 Diane D’Ambrosio at 575-636- 0423, 575-791-5381, [email protected]. Mail donations to El Caldito, P.O. Box 2833, Las Cruces, N.M. 88004. Donate online at elcalditolc.org. Volunteers needed to prepare and serve food, wash dishes, clean, fundraise, work on-site and 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.
10th annual Christmas Shoe Box Project for children in Palomas, Mexico. Southern N.M. churches, groups, local N.M. Department of Health employees take shoeboxes filled with gifts for children; coats, blankets, to Palomas each December. Shoebox items: toy cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, yoyos, 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, loose items to drop box near entrance of N.M. Public Health Office, 1170 N. Solano Drive, by 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17. Contact Angie Sanchez Corral, 575-528-5123, [email protected].
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 at www.caasnm.org.
CARE (Cancer Aid Resource & Education, Inc.) helps recently diagnosed, eligible Doña Ana County cancer patients in treatment with money for non-medical needs so they can focus on treatment, recovery, survival: gas cards, groceries, nutritional supplements, rent and mortgage payments, self-pay health insurance, utilities, phone, out-of-county travel expenses. Mail donations to CARE, 118 S. Water St., Las Cruces, N.M. 88001. Contact Yoli Diaz, 575-649-0598, [email protected].
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, support the arts, expand literacy, improve health through 315 endowments serving 10 southern New Mexico counties, CFSNM has also been active in COVID response funds and emergency funds for neighboring communities. Contact Terra Winter at 575-521-4794, [email protected]. Donate online at www.cfsnm.org. Mail checks to 2640 El Paseo Road, Las Cruces, N.M. 88001, which is CFSNM’s new home beginning in 2022.
Second annual Foster a Senior Program hopes to provide 50 care packages to seniors at Casa de Oro Center in Las Cruces. $30 pays for a care package. Donations of any amount accepted until Tuesday, Dec. 14. Mail to Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter, P.O. Box 21400, Albuquerque, N.M. 87154. Donate online at http://act.alz.org/goto/fosterasenior2021. Donate items for care packages: puzzles, toothbrushes, hand sanitizer, lotion, fuzzy socks, adult coloring books/colored pencils, tissues; contact Emily N. Chaddock, 575-647-3688, [email protected] to drop off donations or have them picked up.
Consider adopting or giving a pet as a holiday gift and/or donating and volunteering: Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley houses 500+ animals brought in by city or county animal control or the public as strays and animals given up by their owners. Since 2015, ASCMV has taken in 9,500-10,500 animals annually. Donations help care for animals. Check out ASCMV’s Amazon wish list. Items needed: doggie dental chews, soft dog treats, kitty litter for foster volunteers, soft swaddle blankets for bottle-baby kittens, cat toys and KONG toys, KMR kitten formula, sturdy collars and leashes (for bigger dogs especially), towels and blankets (no filling), large dog/puppy pens. Monetary donations welcome at ascmv.org or by mail to ASCMV, 3551 Bataan Memorial West, Las Cruces, N.M. 88012. Call volunteer coordinator Yoli Jurado at 575-382-0018 to volunteer and/or to take an animal into your home to help it get it ready for adoption or rescue. Visit https://ascmv.org/adoptable-animals/ and facebook.com/ASCMV for adoption specials during the holidays and all year.
Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary needs unscented bleach, Purina One beef canned dog food, Friskies canned cat food, Fancy Feast, Meow Mix original dry cat food, Temptations cat treats, Milk Bones (all sizes), creamy peanut butter, Greenies Pill Pockets, puppy training pads, clumping cat litter, disposable gloves (large), toilet paper, paper towels, tall kitchen trash bags, scented laundry detergent, liquid dishwashing soap, disinfecting wipes, antibacterial hand soap, Ziploc bags (all sizes). Take donations to SHAS Thrift Store, 840 El Paseo Road, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Mail donations to Safe Haven, P.O. Box 16227, Las Cruces, N.M. 88004-6227. Donate online at www.shaspets.com. 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.
ACTion Programs for Animals needs cash donations to pay vet bills year-round. APA has rescued 5,000 dogs and cats locally since 2012. APA runs a pet food bank, prison dog-training program and low-cost clinics. Visit the adoption center at 537 N. Solano Drive, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday. Donate online at www.apalascruces.org. Nov. 25-Jan. 1: APA is offering half-off pet adoptions (except small dogs). APA’s Second Chance Thrift Store, 2475 N. Main St., is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, donations welcome. The thrift store will host an online holiday auction in partnership with Mesilla Valley Estate Sales near Thanksgiving.
The Cat’s Meow Adoption Center welcomes cash donations. 2211 N. Mesquite St., 575-640-0011, 639-3036, [email protected]. Donate at www.thecatsmeowlascruces.com. 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 1,000 cats since 2014.
Casa de Peregrinos emergency food program helps food-insecure families in Doña Ana County. Donate at www.casadeperegrinos.org or mail/take donations to 999 W. Amador Ave. Las Cruces, N.M. 88005. 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, recent proof of address for food assistance. Volunteers welcome. $50 provides 300 meals, $100 feeds an average family for a month. CdP 2020 stats: distributed 4.72 million pounds of food (2019: 3.8 million) to 35,752 clients (2019: 30,000) at 24 county locations, including Las Cruces pantry, 13 rural pantries, mobile food pantries; distributed 3.934 million meals (2019: 2 million), 25,795 food baskets.
The increase in distribution from 2019 to 2020 is the largest in CdP history. CdP’s 2021 Hunger Strike fundraiser raised $56,285, which will provide 337,712 meals. CdP was founded in 1979 by La Mesa, N.M. residents and Holy Cross Catholic Church parishioners.
Aggie Cupboard is a free service that distributes food to NMSU students, staff and faculty in need at NMSU, Doña Ana Community College Las Cruces campuses; present current NMSU ID to qualify. Open 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, 3-6 p.m. Thursday, or email [email protected] for appointment. Take food donations to 906 Gregg St., NMSU, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays, 1-3 p.m. Thursdays or e-mail to set up a time. Needed are canned chicken and tuna, peanut butter, soup, canned fruit and vegetables, cereal, evaporated milk, cooking oil, toiletries. Call 575-646-7636, email [email protected]. Donate online at https://mas.nmsu.edu/project/6947, 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. Thanksgiving meals for Aggie Cupboard clients: Food donations accepted through Monday, Nov. 15: Fill a reusable shopping bag with flour, sugar, mashed-potato mix, gravy, boxed stuffing, cornbread mix, canned goods: green chile, vegetables, pie filling, cranberry sauce, and deliver to Aggie Cupboard.
Roadrunner Food Bank is the state’s largest hunger relief organization, providing food to hundreds of partners across New Mexico, including distribution sites in Doña Ana County. Hunger is a serious issue in New Mexico, with one in four children at risk of hunger and one in six people overall. The best way to help is a financial contribution to source, acquire and distribute food. To donate, call 505-349-8909, email [email protected]. Volunteers needed for outreach in southern New Mexico, call 575-323-5150, visit www.rrfb.org/give/give-time/non-warehouse-volunteers, email [email protected]. For food assistance, call 575-523-4390, visit www.rrfb.org/find-food. Staff can also help those in need apply for SNAP (food stamp) benefits; call 844-684-6268, email [email protected].
Roadrunner began service in 1980 and feeds 70,000 people each week through a statewide hunger relief network. Visit www.rrfb.org.
Note: This list was compiled by the Las Cruces Bulletin’s Mike Cook and shared with the Sun-News. Have something to add? Email Leah Romero at [email protected].