July 31, 2008

Groups Offer School Supplies

By Laura Nesbitt Mountain View Telegraph

A few dedicated people want to make sure that children in the area are ready for the fall with school supplies.

East Mountain Friends for Families is a tax free charity whose mission statement is to take care of the needs of children in the East Mountains including making sure those children have school supplies, food and Christmas presents, said Pamela Reeves one of the founding members of the group.

"The heart on this mountain is so big" when it comes to making sure that children have everything they need, Reeves said.

Reeves estimated that several thousand dollars worth of school supplies were given away last year by the group to needy children at Roosevelt Middle School, A. Montoya Elementary and San Antonito Elementary School, along with Moriarty Elementary and Moriarty Middle School.

Reeves, Debbie MacDonald and Dana Roberson, the three remaining founding members of the nonprofit, have several ways of raising money to pay for the group's two yearly giveaways.

They hold fundraising parties twice each year and invite friends, associates and sponsors. Entry price of the party is either $20 or bring a gift or supplies for the children.

There are donation boxes at Triangle Grocery, Turquoise Trail Market, Coffee at Dawn, Aspects of Clay, Bank of the West, May Pharmacy, Mountain Videos and La Marisa Hair Designs where the public is welcome to donate school supplies for children.

They are also selling raffle tickets for two rounds of golf at Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Course at $5 per chance or $10 for three chances. The drawing will be held Aug. 15 at the course.

And finally the group holds rummage sales and requests donations from the public for the sale.

The women formed the group several years ago out of compassion.

"We ran across a young couple who had lost everything, and we said we can help take care of this. We did a little party and people just became unglued. They brought in cartons and cases of stuff. It was heartbreaking because they were hard-working people," Reeves said.

The group finds out about the needs of the children from school councilors who in turn are alerted by either the parents or the children themselves.

For more information call Reeves at 980-1846.

Further east, the Torrance County Project Office has sponsored a Back-To-School Campaign for several years, said Billie Clark, programs manager.

"This year we expect to distribute 300 school supplies bags for children in grades K-12. Funding comes from our Medicaid Enrollment Program contract with New Mexico Primary Care Association," Clark said.

The event will be held 1-4 p.m. Aug. 6 at the Estancia Community Center on Williams Street.

School supplies for children in school districts located in Torrance County will be available "while they last," Clark said.

Staff will provide the public with information and assistance with Medicaid applications for children, pregnancy and family planning; state coverage insurance for adults; car seat safety checks; prenatal education; early childhood education and home visits; and TCPO To Go transportation services.

For more information call 832-0332.

(c) 2008 Albuquerque Journal. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.