COVID-19

Opinion: Help Taos Project for Humanity

By Bonnie Golden and Kylee Shipp
Posted 5/7/20

We want to thank those working on the front lines day in and day out to keep our community safe: medical and nonmedical staff at Holy Cross, Taos Living Center and …

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COVID-19

Opinion: Help Taos Project for Humanity

Posted

We want to thank those working on the front lines day in and day out to keep our community safe: medical and nonmedical staff at Holy Cross, Taos Living Center and Taos Retirement Village. Those who work in medical offices. The good neighbors who keep our grocery stores open, our utilities working, our government functioning. EMTs, firefighters and those who police. The Taos and Picuris Pueblos.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Taos Project for Humanity is a group you have not yet heard of, but our work is visible throughout the community. We are staff and volunteers from Taos Immigrant Allies, Las Cumbres Community Services, Enos Garcia Community School, the Taos Education and Career Center at University of New Mexico-Taos, Taos Alive, Taos First Steps, Taos High School, Shared Table, TiLT and others.

Our purpose is to collaborate in an organized effort to support members in our community that are struggling as a result of the current health crisis. The loss of employment leading to concerns around food, rent and utilities has been the most common fear for many people, outside of contracting the virus.

What's being done

Habitat for Humanity and TiLT have partnered with us to build little food pantries, similar to the little free libraries, only with food.

Pantries are located at Camino de La Merced on the corner of TaosNet/BrownRice; Gusdorf Park next to the Little Library; Kit Carson Road and Mariposa Lane; in front of First Presbyterian Church; Río Lucero Road on the river side; Cuchilla Road; Civic Plaza Drive at Bataan Hall, Shreiber Family Medicine, Baca Park and Straight Arrow Road.

We have established a core group of Spanish-speaking volunteers to assist all people with filing for unemployment or navigating the health care system. We are providing a stipend to some community members who have lost work and are wanting to help fill the 750-plus grocery bags that are being distributed every other week in conjunction with the St. James Food Pantry. More than 2,335 bags have been distributed since the crisis was declared.

Through the various partners in this project and with funds provided by Taos Immigrant Allies, we have distributed $6,000 in grocery cards and $2,000 in educational games, toys and art supplies to students and children. $1,000 in medical bills have been paid. $2,000 in rental assistance. We've also procured and delivered surgical masks to Taos Living Center and Holy Cross Medical Center.

We continue to share information from New Mexico Legal Aid to protect and educate anyone being threatened by eviction. We receive information from the Mexican Consulate to help keep our neighbors informed.

What we are asking from you

We need more funds to sustain the work listed above. As this crisis continues and we look toward a lasting impact on the economy, we want to continue supporting families and individuals with rent and utilities, food. We want to keep providing games, toys and books for children.

Taos Project for Humanity holds weekly virtual meetings to evaluate the ever-changing needs of the individuals, students and families with whom we are in contact. Currently, funds raised through TIA are allocated to our immigrant community.

However, we are working to expand our capabilities and systems of support by seeking out partnerships that can continue to cast a wider safety net for other vulnerable populations in Taos County. Living in unprecedented times calls for unprecedented actions. Together, Taos Project for Humanity is accomplishing its goals to bring some relief to those in the greatest need.

We ask for your help as we continue to help our neighbors. Tax-deductable donations may be made to our fiscal sponsor, B'nai Shalom Havurah with TIA on the memo line. The address is 810 Dillon Lane, Taos, NM 87571, or GoFundMe.com/taos-migrantsnow or taosimmigrantallies@gmail.com.

Sincerely, and on behalf of the partners coming together under Taos Project for Humanity,

Bonnie Golden is with Taos Immigrant Allies and Kylee Shipp is with TECC at University of New Mexico-Taos.

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