BY RICHARD SKOLNIK
On behalf of the Cooperating Houses of Worship
From Nov. 1 to Nov. 30, five Los Alamos County houses of worship will launch a collection drive to support the work that Colores United in Deming, NM does to assist asylum seekers. These sponsors include The Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, The United Church of Los Alamos, The White Rock Presbyterian Church, the Los Alamos Jewish Center, and the Parajito Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
This drive follows successful support for Colores United from Los Alamos last year, when about 55 boxes of donated items and $7,000 were delivered from Los Alamos to the Deming shelter.
The shelter that Colores United is managing now receives up to 300 people per week, all of whom have just been released from federal detention centers. After a respite ranging from days to weeks, the asylum seekers, many of whom have been through prolonged traumatic experiences, move on to longer term housing around the US, where they await asylum hearings.
On Saturday, Nov. 4, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, the United Church, in cooperation with other area church youth, will host a kick-off event for the drive. This will be held at the United Church parking lot, near the volleyball court, at 2525 Canyon Road, Los Alamos. The church parking lot is accessible from both Canyon Road and Rose Street.
To carry out its work, Colores United is especially interested in receiving donations of the following clothing, for men, women, and children, in all sizes.
New underwear and new socks
Winter hats and gloves
Comfortable, closed-toed shoes
Clothing and shoes can be used in good condition, except for underwear and socks, which must be new for hygiene reasons. The November 4 kick-off event is an especially good time to donate new, as well as used clothing. Colores United generally faces significant gaps in providing men’s clothing, so that would be especially appreciated. Cold weather clothing is also especially needed.
For infants and children, the shelter especially needs:
Diapers and wipes
Puréed baby food
Baby formula and baby bottles
Art supplies, including crayons, markers, colored pencils, and coloring books
The shelter can also use the following toiletries:
Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and deodorant
The shelter also needs the following food items, some of which are very helpful when the asylum seekers move on to their next destination.
Peanut butter (16-ounce jars)
Jelly/jam – strawberry preferred
Cup o’ Noodle soups
Non-perishable snack foods which would best be packed in snack sizes, including, granola bars, chips, nuts, dried meat/protein items, dried fruit, or fruit cups
Juice boxes, such as Gatorade and Caprisun
For helping people move on, the shelter also needs:
Drawstring type backpacks/bags
During all of November, there will be a central collection station for all in-kind donations at the front of the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos located at: 1738 North Sage Loop, in Los Alamos. The other participating houses of worship may also have collection stations, as they will announce separately to their congregations.
Colores United also greatly appreciates financial contributions, which help the organization flexibly address a range of the substantial demands for their services.
Checks can be made out to Colores United and mailed to or left with Peg Dahl at the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos.
Triad, LLC employees may choose to provide financial donations through payroll deductions as either a one-time donation or recurring bi-weekly donation. Colores United is a listed 501c3 organization in the Triad Employee Giving system.
Those who wish may also contribute financially directly on the Colores United website:
Colores United is a 501c3 charity and all in-kind and financial contributions are tax deductible.
The participating houses of worship would like to thank the community for its past generosity and for the generous contributions it knows the community will make again this year.