United Way helps many - thanks to you!

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By Ralph Damiani

Well, the 2009 United Way campaign is over and thanks to all of you, the United Way of Northern New Mexico will be able to help many agencies help many people.

The generous giving from those living here put the campaign over the $2 million mark. It is something to be proud of.

With all the uncertanties in the economy and nation, for us to dig so deep and allow all these agencies the chance to really help those in need, is truly remarkable.

Here are the agencies that we have all helped:

• American Red Cross, Los Alamos/Rio Arriba Service Center provides relief to victims of disaster and helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.

• Amigos del Valle is an Española area in-home senior service program whose sole purpose is to provide services which will enable senior adults to remain independent within their own homes with a respectable and safe style of life.

• The Crisis Center of Northern New Mexico provides holistic services to victims, children and perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence.  

• The Family Learning Center is dedicated to providing quality services to children and families in the Española Valley. Their goal is to enhance family life, support family members and promote positive self-regard for children and adults.

• Family Strengths Network (FSN) provides education, support and social groups and fun activities to all types of families, parents, teens and children. They offer classes and support or social groups for parents of infants, toddlers, teens, and children with special needs. The Beth Ladino library and Toy Lending Library provide activities, resources and materials for families. Through their work, FSN improves the quality of family life for generations.

• Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails Inc. serves northern and central New Mexico. Girl Scouts is open to all girls, ages 5-17 and encourages them to discover new interests and skills, connect with others and make lasting friendships, and take action helping others to make the world a better place. Adult volunteers help provide Girl Scouting to girls.

• It is the mission of the Great Southwest Council of Boy Scouts to serve others by helping to instill values in young people, and in other ways, prepare them to make ethical choices during their lifetime to achieving their full potential.

• Habitat for Humanity Española Valley and Los Alamos seeks to eliminate poverty housing by assisting families in need who are willing to partner and able to repay zero percent mortgage that is below market value.

• Las Clinicas del Norte provides access to affordable, high quality, comprehensive and culturally sensitive primary health services under the guidance of a board of directors. Care is delivered principally to the underserved and financially disadvantaged in a manner that respects the privacy, rights and dignity of individuals.

• Las Cumbres Community Services (formerly Las Cumbres Learning Services) promotes the health and wellbeing of people of all ages in northern New Mexico. They offer more than a dozen programs providing integrated services and support for children, adults and families facing social, emotional and/or developmental challenges. Las Cumbres direct service programs benefit close to 2,400 individuals each year in Rio Arriba, Los Alamos and Santa Fe counties. Training, education and referral services impact another 6,000 individuals through the state.   

• Los Alamos Civil Defense Search and Rescue is available for search and rescue anywhere in New Mexico and southern Colorado. Their teams include the following: Mountain Canine Corps, Los Alamos Amateur Radio Club, Los Alamos Auxiliary Fire Brigade, Los Alamos Ski Patrol, and the Civil Air Patrol.

• Los Alamos Council on Cancer is organized for the purpose of furthering education, prevention and treatment of cancer.

• The mission of Los Alamos Family Council Inc. is to promote emotional and social well-being and to enhance the quality of life for all age groups in Northern New Mexico. They provide highly effective integrated services including, but not limited to, advocacy, education, prevention and counseling. Low Cost services are available for all ages and income levels.

• Los Alamos Heart Council develops, implements and supports community-wide programs in Los Alamos and Northern New Mexico dedicated to reducing heart disease.  

• Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service Inc. and its branch office, Los Rios Home Health Care, provide Home Care and Hospice Services to those individuals with medical and social needs, regardless of ability to pay. Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service Inc. has a full team approach, including RN, PT, OT, ST, HHA, as well as, volunteers and other appropriate support services. They provide “Lifeline” emergency response units to those individuals who are indigent, live alone and are at risk for falls.

• Self Help, Inc., since its inception in 1969, has provided a continuum of free services including consultation and advocacy, financial assistance for basic needs, school supplies and seed money grants to enhance employability. Self Help works on the philosophy that the most effective assistance is aimed at enhancing a family life skills and level of independence.

• The Family YMCA serves over 6,000 individuals throughout Northern New Mexico, and is a charitable, community service organization dedicated to building strong kids, strong families, and strong communities. Their programs promote healthy lifestyles, strong values, leadership development, community interaction, and international understanding. Everyone is welcome at YMCA, regardless of ability to pay through our scholarship program.

Thank you all on behalf of all of them.