BY RICHARD SKOLNIK
On behalf of
Cooperating Houses of Worship
Following a successful effort last year, a number of local houses of worship will be working together again this year to support a shelter for asylum seekers in Deming, NM. That facility, managed by Colores United, receives up to 300 people per week, all of whom have been released from federal detention centers. After a respite of days to weeks, the asylum seekers, many of whom have been through traumatic experiences, move on to longer term housing around the US, where they await asylum hearings.
To support the humanitarian effort of Colores United, the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, The United Church of Los Alamos, The White Rock Presbyterian Church, The Pajarito Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Los Alamos Jewish Center will be sponsoring a drive throughout November to collect donations of clothing, food, and baby food. Monetary donations will be welcomed, too, and can be especially helpful to the shelter. All donations are tax deductible.
In conjunction with this effort, the cooperating congregations will also sponsor in early November a special event for the collection drive.
During all of November, there will be a central outdoor collection site at the front door of the Unitarian Church in Los Alamos and items donated there will be brought inside regularly. Other collection sites will be located at some of the participating houses of worship.
In the coming weeks, there will be additional notices to the community about this drive, with more specific information about what is needed and why. The involved houses of worship will also be communicating further with their own parishioners in the next few weeks about the work of the shelter, how the shelter used last year’s donations, and the shelter’s specific needs for this year.
Information about this drive will also be posted on Facebook in the following groups: “White Rock Community,” ”Keep it Local Los Alamos,” and the “Los Alamos Asylum Aid Project.”