At-risk seniors in need of extra heat this winter are in luck, thanks to a program started by Taos County Undersheriff Steve Miera.

The “Senior Safe Program” aims to provide a much needed heat source for seniors who may not be able to go out and gather their own wood, or afford to buy it. Thanks to a donation by Town Mayor Dan Barrone and Olguin’s Sawmill, the program received an entire semi truck load of wood for this winter season.

“This generous donation will ensure that our county’s at-risk senior citizens are safe and warm during the upcoming winter months,” said a press release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Miera will head up the program and begin processing the wood and coordinating deliveries to those most in need. The goal is to reach seniors in all parts of the county, “from Amalia, Costilla, Cerro and Questa, to Ojo Caliente, Arroyo Seco, Taos, and the Peñasco Valley.”

While the Senior Safe Program has existed in the past, “this year Undersheriff Miera is taking that to an enhanced level,” said Sheriff Hogrefe in an email.

The program is part of expanding the scope of what it means “to protect and serve,” read the press release. Miera said he has been running the program since COVID began, and it started with securing good deliveries, then moved to wood deliveries.

On top of delivering wood to at-risk seniors, Sheriff’s Office deputies have also recently begun delivering meals on wheels to seniors due to a shortage of drivers. “I want people to know that we're there to protect and serve – not just protect from criminals, but to protect from everything,” said Miera.

If you know of an at-risk senior in need of help, contact Undersheriff Miera at steve.miera@taoscounty.org

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