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Opportunities to give back

Many are in need this holiday season and Giving Tuesday is the perfect day


Every year, the Las Cruces Bulletin publishes a series of stories on ways to help those in need in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County. The series will include many nonprofits that would welcome your donations of money, food, clothing and other items, and also your time as a volunteer.

  • 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 beginning Nov. 1. Most needed: soccer balls, basketballs, games, art sets, jewelry making kits, Barbie dolls, and other toys for ages 8 and up, and cash to buy toys. Coordinated by Patty Groth and El Perro Diablo Marine Corps League Detachment #478 of Las Cruces, partnering with Las Cruces, Gadsden, Hatch school districts. Contact Patty Groth, 575-202-6185, and U.S. Marine (ret.) Joe Montoya, 575-571-7728. Email las.cruces.nm@toysfortots.org. Visit las-cruces-nm.toysfortots.org and Las Cruces Toys for Tots on Facebook. Mail donations to Toys for Tots, P.O. Box 14002, Las Cruces, NM 88013. Jack and Peggy Petrowsky started Las Cruces Toys for Tots in 1998, with toys for 65 children. It provided more than 18,000 items (14,631 toys/stocking stuffers, 3,634 new books) to 5,671 children countywide in 2022.
  • 29th annual Las Cruces Coats for Kids needs new/gently used coats for children ages birth to 5th grade, sizes infant to adult XL. Take coats, mail or drop off cash donations: Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico (CAA), 3880 Foothills Road, Suite A, Las Cruces, NM 88011; Drop off coats at CAA; 101 Gold radio, 101 Perkins Drive; Comet Cleaners, 2001 E. Lohman Ave., 2497 N. Main St., 555 Utah Ave.; U.S. Post Office: 310 E. Union Ave. in Mesilla Park; Firestone Complete Auto Care, 311 S. Main St.; Holy Family American National Catholic Church, 702 Parker Road; Santa Rosa de Lima Church, 5035 Holsome Road; St. Genevieve’s Catholic Church, 100 S. Espina St.; Holy Cross Catholic Church, 1327 N. Miranda St.; Cathedral of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 1240 S. Espina St.; Our Lady of Health Catholic Church, 1178 N. Mesquite St.; St Albert the Great Newman Center, 2615 S. Solano Drive; Our Lady of Purification Church, 5525 Cristo Rey St., Doña Ana; Basilica of San Albino, 2280 Calle de Principal, Mesilla. Call Alycia Jameson at 575-621-4612. Every cash donation is doubled by Anderson Foundation. Visit www.lascrucescoatsforkids.com and www.facebook.com/lascrucescoatsforkids. Coats for Kids has provided 60,000+ coats in the past 28 years.
  • Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, needs shoebox donations for children worldwide struggling with terrorism, poverty, famine, disease. No candy, toothpaste, liquids or toys that represent war. The drop-off center is Grace Covenant Church, 3111 N. Main St. Donations accepted 3-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 15; 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Nov. 14, 16, 18; 1-3 p.m. Friday, Sunday, Nov. 17, 19; 9 a.m.-noon Monday, Nov. 20. To donate and learn how to pack a shoebox, visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ. Contact Stephanie Muir at occsouthwestnm@gmail.com.
  • Tresco, Inc. provides job placement services to people with disabilities and needs donations for Thanksgiving food baskets and Christmas toys for less fortunate families it serves. Cash donations of any amount, food and toys are welcome. $75 provides a family Thanksgiving basket. $150 provides Christmas toys for a family. $225 provides both. Donations requested by Wednesday, Nov. 15. Take donations to Tresco, 1800 Copper Loop, or contact Stacie Allen at 575-528-2206, sallen@trescoinc.org. Mail donations to Tresco, Inc. 1800 Copper Loop, Las Cruces, NM 88005 c/o Stacie Allen. Visit sub.trescoinc.org.
  • 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, NM 88004. Emergency services for families in need: food boxes handed out Thursdays beginning at 8 a.m. until all boxes are gone; 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 (now through Sunday, Dec. 24) at 1590 E. California Ave., contact Capt. Michael Evans at 575-524-4713 and michael.evans@usw.salvationarmy.org. Angel Tree program needs donations of gifts for low-income children; trees at Old Navy, Mesilla Valley Mall, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Farmers Insurance, Rudy’s Bar-B-Q, Rehab Hospital of Southern New Mexico and White Sands Credit Union; contact Capt. Noel Evans at 575-524-4713 and noel.evans@usw.salvationarmy.org. 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 lascruces.salvationarmy.org and the Salvation Army Las Cruces Corps and www.facebook.com/SalvationArmyofLasCruces. Toy Drive Saturday, Dec. 2, 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., arrive at the old K-Mart parking lot, 1900 Bataan Memorial East, 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-Q, 1020 N. Telshor Blvd.
  • La Casa, Inc., a domestic violence organization, needs non-perishable food items, coats, gifts for teens and children of all ages, household items, furniture, gift cards in any amount, toiletries and cleaning supplies. Take items to 800 S. Walnut St. in Las Cruces or 325 First St. in Anthony, New Mexico, 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 lacasainc.org/donate. Volunteers are also needed. Call 575-526-2819. Visit La Casa Thrift Store, 812 Spruce Ave., open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Donations are welcome. Visit lacasainc.org/thrift-store. La Casa, Inc. provides emergency shelter, case management, legal advocacy, transitional housing and other 24/7 supports to those affected by domestic violence. In 2022, La Casa served more than 1,800 adults and children. La Casa’s 32nd annual Holiday BazaarFriday-Sunday, Dec. 1-3 (Friday: 4:30-7:30 p.m., Saturday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m), Las Cruces Convention Center, 680 E. University Ave., 100-plus vendors; tickets: $7 per day or $15 for all three days; visit lacasainc.org/holiday-bazaar. Pick a card from the Angel Tree and help provide gifts for those served by La Casa. Holiday volunteers needed; apply at lacasainc.org/volunteer-form or contact Gloria Carreras at gloriac@lacasainc.org.
  • Las Cruces Public Schools’ Project Link Homeless Education program serves about 900 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); full- sized 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. Mail donation checks, made out to MKV Project Link, to 505 S. Main St., Suite 249, Las Cruces, NM 88001 ATTN: Finance Department. Contact Ray Banegas, 575-527-6688 and rabanegas@lcps.net; Ashley Cortez, Karla Solis Holguin, Margarita Solis and Juliette Paez-Pearcy at 575-527-6660.
  • 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 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. Project Linus will have a booth at the La Casa Bazaar. Mail donations to Susan Stoltzfus, P.O. Box 116, Mesilla Park, NM 88047. Contact Stoltzfus at 575-526-3695 and sgstolt13@gmail.com. Visit www.projectlinus.org and on Facebook.
  • Children’s Reading Alliance is focused on child literacy. Its First Teacher/Primer Maestro countywide parent support program distributes thousands of children's books into local households at no cost. Donations of new/gently used books for ages birth-8 are welcome, especially bilingual books. Cash donations are welcome. Donate at www.childrensreadingalliance.org. Send donation checks to Children’s Reading Alliance, 3880 Foothills Road, Las Cruces, NM 88011. Call 575-522-3713 or email info@cralc.org.
  • 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, NM 88004. Donate online at www.mvcommunityofhope.org. Call 575-523-2219 or email hope@zianet.com. MVCH, 999 W. Amador Ave. 2021-22. In FY 2022-23, MVCH served 7,258 clients, provided shelter to 266 people in Camp Hope tent city, provided housing to 972 people, including 130 children. It served 449 veterans in 2022-23, and 421 veterans in 2021-22.
  • Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico began in 1965 and serves Doña Ana and four other southwest New Mexico counties, providing services to help families facing adversities, including Coats for Kids of Las Cruces, youth entrepreneurship (Kids Can), child nutrition programs, small business development. Contact Mark Hohnstreiter, 575-527-8799, markh@caasnm.org. Mail donations to CAASNM, 3880 Foothills Road, Suite A, Las Cruces, NM 88011. Donate at www.caasnm.org
  • Jardin de los Niños opened in 1995 and supports homeless/near homeless children and families. In addition to its Adopt-A-Family campaign, Jardin will 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 during regular hours Monday-Friday and by appointment at 999 W. Amador Ave. (Mesilla Valley Community of Hope). Volunteers welcome. Call 575-522-2111, email info@jardinlc.org. Open 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday. Mail donations to Jardin de los Niños, 1300-G El Paseo, PMB #272, Las Cruces, NM 88001. Donate at www.jardinlc.org. La Tienda de Jardin, 335 La Colonia Ave., open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on select Saturdays, welcomes donations of new, gently used women’s and men’s clothing, jewelry, household items, regular hours or by appointment. Call 575-541-9746. Friday, Dec. 15, is the deadline to donate to EXIT Realty Horizons Jardin fundraiser. $5,000 in donations earns a $5,000 match from EXIT Realty Corp. International. Donate at www.donationjardin.org.
  • Fourth annual Foster a Senior Program hopes to provide 50 care packages to seniors at a Las Cruces facility and 50 care packages to local homebound seniors. Mail cash donations to Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter, 141 Roadrunner Pkwy, Suite 133, Las Cruces, NM 88011. Donations needed for care packages: large-print word puzzles, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, lotion, fuzzy socks, adult coloring books/colored pencils, tissues, canned soup, canned fruit, coffee, cocoa, tea. Deadline: Tuesday, Dec. 12. Contact Penney McClarin, 575-520-8039, pcmcclarin@alz.org, for drop off or pick up.
  • 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 donations to GRM, 1050 W. Amador Ave. Donate at www.lcgrm.org or mail to Las Cruces Gospel Rescue Mission, P.O. Box 386, Las Cruces, NM 88004. Visit Rock of Ages Thrift Store, 1420 S. Solano Drive. Visit www.lcgrm.org and www.facebook.com/lcgrminc. Volunteer/large-item pickup: 575-523-7727. Email lcgrminc@gmail.com. GRM building program: first building nearing completion; second building is 50-60 percent complete. GRM was founded in 1972 by Rev. Darrel Bean.
  • Tutti Bambini Children’s Store nonprofit (opened 2013) sells gently used children’s clothing, toys and more to benefit local and border-area outreach programs for children challenged by poverty and special needs. Donations of items to sell and cash welcome; especially needed are children’s clothes, sizes 2T-8, girls’ sizes 10-16, all sizes of coats, heavy jackets, pajamas, clothes for ages nine months and older, Christmas toys. Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. 300 El Molino Blvd., (corner of Alameda and Molino). Sister Beth: 575-640-1997, daddiosister@yahoo.com, Jeanne: 575-556-9752. Facebook @tuttibambinilc. www.meetlascruces.com/Tutti-Bambini-in-Las-Cruces.html.
  • Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico is committed to improving the quality of life in the 12 counties it serves, connecting people to animal welfare, caring for the unhoused, education, arts and culture and more. Contact Diana O’Brien at 575-521-4794, diana@cfsnm.org. Donate: www.cfsnm.org and nonprofitexchange.org/givingtuesday-2023/ (Giving Tuesday is Nov. 28). Mail checks to 2640 El Paseo Road, Las Cruces, N.M. 88001. CFSNM houses more than 300 endowments.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Las Cruces will accept these donations: musical instruments (especially guitars), arts and crafts supplies, school supplies, athletic equipment, Legos, kitchenware, cleaning supplies, office supplies, new board and card games. For the holidays, needs include new toys for all ages 6-18 to be gifted at the annual holiday party. Cash, check and online donations welcome. Take or mail donations to Boys & Girls Club of Las Cruces, 330 W. Las Cruces Ave. Las Cruces, NM 88005; online: www.bgclascruces.org. Volunteers needed: www.bgclascruces.org/volunteer. Contact CEO Ashley Echavarria at 575-526-1519, ashley@bgclascruces.org. Founded in 1963.
  • 12th annual Christmas Shoe Box Project for children in Palomas and Cuidad Juarez, Mexico. Southern N.M. churches, groups and local N.M. Department of Health employees take shoeboxes filled with gifts for children; coats, blankets, to Palomas and Juarez 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 and loose items to the New Mexico Public Health Office, 1170 N. Solano Drive, second floor, Office of Border Health. Donations requested by 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22. Contact Angie Sanchez Corral, 575-528-5123, angie.sanchez@doh.nm.gov.
  • CARE (Cancer Aid Resource & Education, Inc.) helps recently diagnosed, eligible Doña Ana County cancer patients in treatment with financial assistance for non-medical needs so they can focus on treatment, recovery and survival: gas cards to get to treatment, food and nutritional supplement cards, rent and mortgage payments, self-pay health insurance, utilities, phone and out-of-county medical travel expenses. CARE’s greatest need is monetary donations. Mail to CARE, 118 S. Water St., Las Cruces, NM 88001. Contact Yoli Diaz, 575-649-0598, caresupportprogram@carelascruces.org. Visit carelascruces.org.
  • Dyslexia Institute of Southern New Mexico, Inc. seeks to provide the highest quality dyslexia therapy and remediation to persons of all economic levels. Lower income families receive scholarships, and donations are always welcome to fund these scholarships. Dyslexic individuals have average to gifted IQ combined with an extreme and unexpected difficulty with reading. Besides gifts for scholarships, undesignated gifts for greatest need are greatly appreciated. Donations of office supplies, especially copier paper, are useful. In addition, DISNM is seeking to add another therapist trained in the Scottish Rite “Take Flight” program. If interested, please call 575-650-6820 or email disnm2010@gmail.com. Donations may be made online through Dyslexia Institute’s website, DISNM.org, or mailed to Dyslexia Institute of Southern New Mexico, Inc., PO Box 13507, Las Cruces, NM 88013.
  • El Caldito Soup Kitchen needs milk, turkeys, hams, canned goods, salad dressings, salt, pepper, spices, sliced cheese, bottled water, soda pop, holiday pies and cakes; foam cups, three-compartment containers; plates, napkins; utensils. 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 Laura Alvarado at 575-525-3831, 575-649-6507, elcalditosoupkitchen@gmail.com. Mail donations to El Caldito, P.O. Box 2833, Las Cruces, NM 88004. Donate at elcaldito-lc.org. Regular volunteers are needed onsite more than ever to prepare and serve food, wash dishes, clean; raise funds; pick up food donations. El Caldito serves more than 90,000 meals a year and has served more than two million meals since it was founded in 1984.

For pets and critters

  • Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley brings in 9,000-10,000 animals a year, either strays picked up by city/county animal control or brought in by the public, or pets given up by owners. 450-500 or more animals are housed at ASCMV at any given time. To donate, see wish lists at https://ascmv.org/ascmv-donations/. Needed: KMR kitten formula, Miracle Nipples and soft swaddle blankets for bottle-baby kittens, large dog crates, doggie dental chews, soft dog treats, kitty litter, cat toys, sturdy leashes (for bigger dogs especially), towels and blankets (no filling). Mail cash donations to ASCMV, 3551 Bataan Memorial West, Las Cruces, NM 88012. Call 575-382-0018 to volunteer (Yoli Jurado) or foster an animal (Vanessa Chastain). Visit ascmv.org/adoptable-animals and facebook.com/ASCMV for holiday and all-year adoption specials. Please spay and neuter your pets.
  • ACTion Programs for Animals (APA) needs cash donations the most this year, especially to catch up on veterinary bills. APA has rescued more than 6,000 dogs and cats since 2012, most from the municipal shelter. APA runs an adoption center, pet food bank, low-cost vaccination/microchip clinics, prison dog training program and a thrift store. APA Adoption Center, 537 N. Solano Drive, open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday; 575-571-4654; www.apalascruces.org. Second Chance Thrift Store, 2475 N. Main St., open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; donations welcome; 575-888-4882.
  • Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary needs fleece throw blankets, Purina One beef or chicken canned dog food, Friskies Party Mix cat treats, Milk Bones (mini and small sizes), clumping cat litter, liquid hand soap, toilet paper, paper towels, tall kitchen trash bags, scented laundry detergent, Dawn dishwashing liquid, Clorox unscented bleach, disinfecting wipes, Ziploc bags (all sizes). Take donations to SHAS Thrift Store, 840 El Paseo Road, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Mail donations to Safe Haven, P.O. Box 16227, Las Cruces, NM 88004-6227. Donate at www.shaspets.com. Sanctuary: 575-805-5338, info@shaspets.com. Thrift store: 575-541-4942. Opened 1996, SHAS is a no-kill, nonprofit adoption center for homeless cats/dogs.
  • The Cat’s Meow Adoption Center welcomes cash donations. 2211 N. Mesquite St., 575-640-0011, call 575-639-3036, email corella@zianet.com). 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 1,600 cats since 2014.