Holiday Giving Tree – Make a Child Smile

Celebrating Over Two Decades of Sharing, Caring and Cooperation for a Brighter Future

During each holiday season, Co-op members have shared resources and helped fulfill the holiday needs and wishes of children experiencing hardships in our communities for the last 22 years. Every year we ask for your help in letting some very special children and families know that we, as a community, despite tough economic times, will continue to be there for one another.

Through this program, we make the holiday wishes of approximately 600 children in protective custody and foster care a reality. Over the years, you, our loyal Co-op members and shoppers, our staff and child advocates from participating agencies have, through this program, provided for the needs of thousands of children. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you, and hope that you’ll be able to give a gift again this year!

How it Works

giving tree_light

  • Sustainably grown and harvested trees (purchased from Delancy Street’s addiction recovery program) will go up by December 1.
  • The ornaments have the name, age, and a holiday wish for each child, allowing you to choose a gift you will enjoy giving and they will enjoy receiving. Please put your name and ornament number on the sheets attached to the giving tree at each store in case you lose the ornament.
  • Please return the gifts to the Co-op by Monday, December 12 so we can get them back to the agencies and to the children in time. Please, please do honor this deadline.
  • Some families and foster families have more than one child in the program. When one child gets a gift and another does not (because an ornament is taken but a gift is not returned to the Co-op in time) it can be devastating for that child.
  • Please tape the “ornament” with the child’s name and agency onto the gift. To protect the confidentiality and the identities of the children, each ornament has a code on it. Taping the colored ornaments that have the agency name and an ornament code number to the top of the gift will help us get your gift to the right child.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Robin at 505-217-2027, or e-mail her at robins@lamontanita.coop

Participating Agencies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Day School

For well over 40 years, PB&J Family Services, Inc. has been working to keep children safe and help families survive. PB&J continues to pioneer innovative approaches to the prevention of child abuse and neglect and the preservation of the family through interactive parenting and bonding programs in its Peanut Butter & Jelly Therapeutic Preschools, from their home-based programs and in their TEENS program at the Cuba, NM, High School — focusing on breaking the often generational cycle of family dysfunction.

In a program that serves children with an incarcerated parent at one of four New Mexico prisons, PB&J works to break the cycle of crime. Often angry and feeling abandoned, these children are six to eight times more likely to be imprisoned than other youngsters. Other programs work with middle and high school youth in the South Valley through the KidPACT program. More than 80 percent of the families PB&J works with make progress toward meeting their goals. Their programs are so successful with governmental support they are in the process of expanding to serve new communities.

Your gift helps them have a holiday season to remember. Mil gracias! For further information you may contact Donna Brew at (505) 877-7060 or visit pbjfamilyservices.org

Enlace Communitario

Enlace Comunitario (EC)’s works with Latino immigrants to eliminate domestic violence and strengthen the community. Over 15 years EC has created a dynamic continuum of services for both victims of domestic violence and their children including: safety planning; assessment; individual and group counseling; referrals to services (housing, health, financial, etc.); parenting and life-skills classes; legal advocacy; economic development, crisis intervention and community education. EC’s innovative approach goes beyond providing services to include advocacy, leadership development and community organizing projects to make long term systemic changes and strengthen the community.

Domestic violence affects families from all backgrounds. Unfortunately, women from immigrant communities are often at greater risk and are less likely to access needed services. They face cultural and language barriers to police and social services, increased threats of becoming separated from their children through deportation or international child abduction, less access to public benefits and less awareness of their plight by churches, schools and the community at large.

Please contact them at (505)246-8972 or at enlacenm.org with questions or if you want to support Enlace.

New Mexico Department of Children, Youth and Families

Bernalillo County Child Protective Services (CPS) is a division of the New Mexico’s Children Youth and Families Department (CYFD). CYFD receives hundreds of reports every month regarding abuse/neglect of children. And while the mainstream media reports the problems now and again, the thousands of children helped by CYFD generally goes unreported. Social workers investigate allegations and when needed intervene with families to ensure the safety of children. This intervention may consist of crisis counseling, referrals to community resources, or other community supports, or in worst case scenarios the Department requests custody of the children. Children in CYFD custody are placed in a licensed foster home.

Foster parents give temporary care to children while they are in CYFD custody providing a protective and safe home, structure, nurturing, and assistance in preparing the child to return to his/her home, or to be adopted. In New Mexico everyone, is mandated by law, to report child abuse, neglect or exploitation. To report child abuse or neglect please call: Metro Area, 841-6100 or Statewide, 1-800-797-3260.

Bernalillo County has a group of dedicated foster families, but the need is greater than the number of available families. If you feel you could provide a safe home for children in CYFD custody please call Foster a Future, at 1-800-432-2075, and visit cyfd.org to find out more. Working together we can make a difference in a child’s life.

New Mexico Kids Matter—Nobody deserves—or longs for—a happy holiday more than a child in foster care. There are close to one thousand children in foster care in Albuquerque. These are children who are in state’s custody through no fault of their own. This year New Mexico Kids Matter (CASA), a non-profit organization that trains community volunteers to advocate for children who are in foster care, are working with CYFD and are providing support to this agency.

All you need to do to be an elf is come into the Co-op pick an ornament, gather your family and have fun picking a present that will truly be appreciated. Please return your unwrapped gift by Dec. 12th. Every child is a profound responsibility to us all and we thank you for your generosity.