Over Christmas, Community Against Violence served 12 children in emergency shelter and another 12 in transitional housing programs. With the community's incredible help, these children were part of the 516 Angel Tree children who had gifts this Christmas.
Special thanks goes to Jim Schlarbaum, who ensures Santa goes where needed most. For the past six years he has visited the children in CAV's emergency shelter and transitional housing programs and given the children a personal visit and gift from Santa.
With the new year coming, many of us are making year-end donations or planning charitable giving for 2019. CAV deeply appreciates you who have supported us and plan to do so again in the coming year.
Many great organizations operate in Northern New Mexico, serving people who are struggling - with homelessness, addiction, violence, poverty, post- traumatic stress disorder, grief and loss, or other chronic or short-term challenges. You can help by donating food, money or volunteering. You can also contact organizations to help with "wish list" items, such as linens, personal hygiene, cleaning, office supplies or help with repairs.
Northern New Mexico has one of the highest rates of children living in poverty and with food insecurity. Some organizations are helping:
• The Shared Table (ElPueblitoUMC.org) distributes food every second and fourth Wednesday of the year at El Pueblito United Methodist Church in El Prado from 11a.m.-noon and the Talpa Community Center, same days, 2 - 3 p.m.
• St. James Episcopal Church Food Pantry (StJamesTaos.org) distributes bags of food every Thursday from 1- 5 p.m.
• Carson, Chamisal, Peñasco/Picuris, and Questa also have food pantries. Find contact information at TheFoodDepot.org.
• Taos Feeds Taos (TaosFeedsTaos.org) provide holiday food baskets to over 1100 families in need.
• CAV, the Men's Homeless Shelter, and DreamTree Project are shelter programs providing food to their residents/clients. (Special thanks to the wonderful Mountain Home Health employees who, once again, did a food drive for CAV's shelter and client food program!)
• The DreamTree Project (DreamTreeProject.org) offers emergency shelter (ages 12-17), transitional apartments (ages 16-24), resources throughout northern New Mexico, and have additional housing resources for adults and families.
• The Taos Men's Shelter (TaosMensShelter.org) provides an overnight haven for men who are homeless. Community Against Violence, CAV (TaosCAV.org) offers services and emergency and transitional housing for children and adults who are survivors of domestic/sexual violence and child abuse.
• Heart of Taos (HeartofTaos.org) offers resources and referrals for women who are homeless.
• Fighting addiction: Northern NM struggles with high rates of people with addictions. Inside Out (RecoveryInsideOut.org) offers peer support, therapy groups, job development, and referrals and assistance to people struggling with substance use issues and PTSD. Rio Grande Treatment Program (RioGrandeATP.org) offers outpatient and intensive outpatient treatment and support services. Golden Willow Retreat (GoldenWillowRetreat.com) offering support and services to people dealing with grief, loss, and recovery issues.
• Special needs: EnSueños Y Los Angelitos Development Center (ELADC.org) provides services to children and adults with special needs, and their families. Bridges Project for Education (BridgesProject.org) provide free college counseling and support programs for people of all ages. Youth Heartline (YouthHeartline.org) offers programs such as Court Appointed Special Advocates and after-school enrichment programs.
These are just a few nonprofits you may want to support who are working to better our community. Building your traditions to include charitable giving improves our lives. By each of us giving our time and resources, together we produce results that are bigger, more meaningful and effective than anything we could possibly do alone.
Malinda Williams is the executive director of Community Against Violence, Inc. (CAV) which offers FREE confidential support and assistance for adult and child survivors of sexual and domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking; community and school violence prevention programs; re-education BIP groups for domestic violence offenders; counseling; shelter; transitional housing; and community thrift store. To talk with someone or get information on services available, call CAV's 24-hour crisis line at (575) 758-9888 or go to the website: TaosCAV.org.
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