Texas neighbors underwater, need help


New Mexicans, including those of us born in Texas, poke fun at our Texas neighbors and vice versa. We sometimes get mad at our Tejano visitors for perceived slights when they visit our fair town. But right now, our Texas neighbors are in need of help and support after the devastation wrought over the last week by Hurricane Harvey. Tens of thousands have been forced from their homes by flooding, their lives in shambles. It will be many days or longer before they can return. And the return will only be the beginning of a long recovery process.

Some of those affected have money and jobs that will allow them to recover more quickly. Plenty of others are similar to many people in Taos - working-class families with few financial securities, single parents trying to get by and elderly people on fixed incomes.

Taos has answered the call. Some Taos natives are on their way to help through their jobs with the National Guard and the Coast Guard. A few raft guides went to Houston with their boats to help find and rescue people.

Locally, the Town of Taos and Youth & Family Center are partnering with Taos Youth Hockey Association, ACE Hardware, Friday Motors, LMNOC Broadcasting, and other community organizations to provide relief and resources to assist Hurricane Harvey victims and helpers in the Houston/Southeast Texas area. 

The U.S. Army National Guard has volunteered to transport the donated resources to the devastated areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Items to be collected for the drive are bottled water, nonperishable canned goods, diapers (youth and adult), baby wipes, baby food, bedding, clothing,and toiletries.

Drop-off your donations at the Taos Youth & Family Center (primary location), Friday Motors, ACE Hardware and LMNOC Broadcasting (northside, across from Guadalajara Grill in El Prado).

If you have questions, contact David Taylor, Taos Youth Hockey Association, Davet.taylor8@gmail.com, (575) 779-0990.

Here are other ways you can help, according to disaster relief groups.

Money can help buy the medical supplies, food and temporary shelter needed. Donate through the organization's official website to make sure donations are secure. And if it is a lesser-known group, double check through CharityNavigator.org to ensure the organization is legitimate.

To help with immediate disaster relief through the Red Cross, text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Or donate through redcross.org or call (800) RED-CROSS. The Red Cross may also be in need of more volunteers. Call your local or state Red Cross office at (505) 265-8514 to find out how else you can help.

To donate to the United Way Flood Relief Fund, text a donation to UWFLOOD to 41444.

The Salvation Army's Hurricane Harvey relief efforts can be supported by donating through helpsalvationarmy.org or by calling (800) SAL-ARMY.

In addition, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and Catholic Charities of New Mexico are working together to provide assistance to families impacted by the hurricane. To donate or assist in other ways, go to Archdiocese of Santa Fe, archdiosf.org, or Catholic Charities of New Mexico, ccasfnm.org, for more information.

Donations collected by the two organizations will be sent to Catholic Charities in Southeast Texas and Louisiana or will be used locally if New Mexico is assisting those displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

Our hearts go out to our Texas neighbors caught in this disaster. Call on us in your time of need. Nuestra casa es su casa.