Los Alamos National Laboratory

Community Programs Office
Connections Newsletter
The Lab's Connection to the Northern New Mexico Community!

November 2010

Lab Completes Most Successful Giving Campaign In Its History

This year’s Employee Giving Campaign resulted in the largest amount ever collected—$1.5 million! With the $1 million Los Alamos National Security, LLC match, that means more than $2.5 million will go to nonprofit organizations identified by Lab employees within and beyond New Mexico.

In addition to the direct employee contributions, special events were held throughout the Lab to raise additional funds. The events included the annual book sale, bake sales, and an auction of unique items such as lunch with the Lab’s director and deputy director, an afternoon with the Lab’s historian, and even a handmade guitar.

Thanks to all the individuals and organizations that helped in this success!

Child Homelessness is a Growing Problem—Help Now

Youth Shelters in Santa Fe serves Northern New Mexico children as young as 10 years old who find themselves homeless and works with children and families to prevent homelessness and other problems before they escalate. Last year, the organization helped more than 900 youths and their families improve their lives. It is currently seeking volunteers and monetary donations, and has a wish list of supplies it needs to keep going. Roughly 75 percent of those served by the organization come from Northern New Mexico, with the other 25 percent coming from other areas of New Mexico and the rest of country.

The organization, now in its 30th year, has an emergency 24-hour shelter, a supervised transitional living program for young adults not quite ready to be on their own (such as youth no longer eligible for foster care), and a street outreach program for homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth. These risks can include prostitution and pornography, drug use and dealing, robbery, and other crimes they might pursue to keep themselves alive on the streets. Youth Shelters provides at-risk children with intervention and counseling to help keep serious problems from becoming worse. The organization is being doubly impacted by the poor economy, increased demand (with a rise in youth homelessness), and decreased funding due to budget cuts by granting organizations, including government agencies and other nonprofit entities.

Volunteers
The organization can always use volunteers. They are needed to take supplies and resource guides to homeless children in the streets of Santa Fe, “hang out” and cook dinner with the kids at the shelter, provide administrative help, tutor, and transport donations and recyclables. If you are interested in helping, contact the organization, and a cheerful volunteer coordinator will match you with the right opportunity.

Monetary donations
The organization begins an appeal for donations in mid-November that will run through the end of the year. Contributing is easy. You can donate online with your credit card using a secure server, via the phone, or—if snail mail is your thing—there is a donation form online that you can print and send in letter form. The goal for the upcoming drive is $95,000.

If you would like to contribute without reaching for your wallet, it’s as simple as using GoodSearch. By going to http://www.goodsearch.com/ and indicating that you want to contribute to “Youth Shelters and Family Services - YSFS (Santa Fe NM),” every time you search the Internet, or shop at participating stores, you’ll help fund the organization’s work. For instance, by shopping through the GoodSearch site for Hewlett-Packard (HP) items, two percent of your purchase will go to Youth Shelters! Even your Amazon.com purchases can help the organization.

Wish list
Updated in October, the current wish list includes such basic items as food (including beans and rice), clothes, hygiene products, camping supplies, items for pregnancy and small children, and a miscellaneous category for items such as art and school supplies, cleaning products, games, books, and even musical instruments. Think you have something the shelter might need? Give them a call and find out.

For more information on the organization and what it does, go to http://www.youthshelters.org/.
Want to make a donation? Go to http://www.youthshelters.org/donations.php.
To find out what’s on the current wish list, go to http://www.youthshelters.org/docs/wishlists/Youth%20Shelters%20Wish%20List.pdf.
Want to volunteer? For more information, go to http://www.youthshelters.org/volunteer.html.

If you’d like to talk to someone about how you might be able to help, call Heather Tanner at (505) 983-0586, extension 112.

For more information on child homelessness in the United States, go to http://www.mcrest.org/news/FactSheetChildHomeless.pdf.

Wreaths Across America

Due to the overwhelming success of last year's Wreaths Across America efforts, the Lab’s Community Programs Office (CPO) has expanded its support of the national 2010 Wreaths Across America initiative. The activity consists of placing wreaths at gravesites at the Santa Fe National Cemetery on Saturday, December 11. The community is invited to participate in this event.

CPO will again partner with SOC Los Alamos and URS Washington Division in a two-part campaign to fundraise and solicit volunteers. Participants can sponsor a wreath for $15 by contacting Liddie Martinez at (505) 699-1323 by November 19.

Beginning on Tuesday, November 9, in conjunction with LANL Veterans’ Day events, CPO will solicit volunteers to help place the wreaths during the December ceremony. If you would like to volunteer, contact Debbi Wersonick at (505) 667-7870.

A call for LANL volunteers in 2009 resulted in more than 150 employees and their families attending the  ceremony and assisting in the placement of wreaths at gravesites. This was the largest group of LANL volunteers to ever participate in a single event. Please join us this year.

For more information Wreaths Across America and its history, go to http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/.

Lab Begins Holiday Gift Tag Drive

As is now tradition, the Lab will kick off its annual holiday gift tag drive later this month. Its goal is to provide underprivileged children and seniors with gifts from Lab employees and contractors to make their holidays brighter. Working through partners, including the State’s Children, Youth, and Families Department, tags will be collected to fill gift requests, which Lab employees and groups will use to purchase gifts for distribution in December. It is expected that more than 1,000 gifts will go to residents in Chimayo, Las Vegas, Springer, Abiquiu, Santa Fe, Espanola, and Mora. In addition to the State, the Lab will partner with the Boys and Girls Club, Wings for Hope, Espanola Valley Toy Run, and Mora's Children, Youth, and Family organization.

For more information, contact the Lab’s Community Programs Office at (505) 665-4400.

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