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Give off your back and off the rack to New Mexico Christian Children's Home

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By Kirsten Laskey

It’s normal to see hand-me-down clothes in a closet. But ,what if  used clothing was the only thing hanging in your closet?

The Christian Church, along with the Church of Christ and Calvary Church, are working to ensure that the children in the New Mexico Christian Children’s Home in Portales aren’t faced with a wardrobe full of previously worn clothing.

Throughout this month, these churches are hosting a clothing drive that includes both used and new clothing.

Rev. Ben Partin said the message is to “give off your back and off the rack.”

New clothes are important, he said, because “we figured with these kids, they probably get a lot of hand-me-downs. We thought it would be nice to give them new stuff, because everybody likes to get new stuff.”

Clothes can be dropped off in a bin at participating churches or at bins located at CB Fox department store and at Beall’s department store.

Clothes need to be donated by April 7. The donations will be delivered to the children’s home April 9-10.

Partin said it was decided that a spring clothing drive would be hosted because many people give to these children during Christmas time and during the back-to-school season.

The churches wanted to give during a time when people do not usually donate.

While spring attire would be preferred, “honestly, anything would help,” Partin said. “They’ll be able to use it.”

The children’s home currently provides foster care to about 60 children who are toddlers through high school students. Between 70 and 80 people are served annually.

The mission of the children’s home, according to its Web site, is to make each child a Christian champion who is respected, responsible and is guided by a dedicated team under God’s direction.  

To accomplish this mission, the Web site reports, house parents and support staff members are recruited, trained and retained.

Also, the organization focuses on making sure each child demonstrates the skills beneficial to a good home environment, exhibits a positive attitude toward work and is eligible for high school graduation and college scholarships.

Partin said the Christian Church decided to support this organization “partly because I grew up in that town and I am familiar with it.”

He added the Christian Church also supports a children’s home in Oklahoma so the clothing drive is an opportunity to support something closer to home.

Partin said, “I know a lot of people involved in it and they’re really good people and … I really like their mission ... (they believe) inside every kid is a champion and they just want give every kid a chance to succeed.”