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The North Eddy County United Way (NECUW) is nearing its 2017 campaign goal.

This year, the NECUW is funding 14 member agencies, with 99 percent of all funds raised remaining in the North Eddy County/Greater Artesia area. A goal of $110,000 has been set for the campaign.

To donate, visit artesiauw.wix.com/necuw or mail contributions to NECUW, P.O. Box 990, Artesia, N.M., 88211-0990.

Grammy’s House

Grammy’s House, Artesia Domestic Violence Shelter, has been providing a variety of services including shelter and protection, domestic violence education, legal advocacy, skills-building, and counseling for domestic violence victims residing throughout Southeast New Mexico for 23 years.

All of these services are made possible through grants — state, federal, county, local and private — and grassroots donations from a generous community. United Way funding allows us to hire and retain employees who are qualified while providing continuing training and education to enable them to work with vulnerable people whose lives are traumatic.

It takes a great deal of compassion, focus and dedication to make a difference in a victim’s life. Domestic violence workers need to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills to work with victims who may be under stress in times of crisis. Additionally, all workers need to have the ability to provide objective support and counseling services to victims of domestic abuse, substance abuse, and other criminal activities, such as intervention for violent offenders.

The growth of Grammy’s House holdings includes The Sallie Chisum Home, an 1,800-square-foot office, and a 1,500-square-foot classroom building, which all require a great deal of utilities. And so does the backbone of Grammy’s House’s reason for being — the shelter and shelter services, which have evolved from housing clients in hotel rooms to a fully-furnished home which can accommodate a maximum of 19 clients who are victims of domestic violence.

Executive Director Celina Bryant articulated Grammy’s House’s gratitude for the grant.

“Thanks to United Way funds, Grammy’s House is better able to hire, train, and retain qualified people while maintaining the facilities. Our work requires training all staff in various aspects relevant to trauma-informed services. United Way funds are invaluable to our agency’s ability to keep the doors open.”

United Way funds have been very instrumental in the continued development and evolvement of new domestic violence programs, such as the Children Capacity Building Project, new teen circle program, Kids’ Talk, and our partnerships with New Mexico Legal Aid and NMSU.

Grammy’s House now provides a very diverse menu of services which encompass domestic violence, including bilingual counseling and therapy services for families, especially children, adolescents, and the non-abusive parent, parenting, women’s groups, teen groups, kids’ groups, legal aid/advocacy, GED/ESL, and adult intervention for offenders.

Again, Grammy’s House’s staff, board of directors, and volunteers are forever grateful for the continued support of The United Way organization.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

The sole mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern New Mexico (BBBS SENM) is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally-supported, one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.

Since opening in 2000, BBBS SENM has been “matching” at-risk children (Littles) ages 5-17 with carefully-screened, adult volunteers (Bigs) in meaningful mentoring relationships. At the heart of the program is Bigs including Littles in everyday activities for just four hours per month.

Just by sharing experiences, celebrating accomplishments, and listening to a child’s concerns, a Big Brother or Big Sister can make a positive difference in a child’s future. By improving the attitude and outlook of the Littles, mentoring also positively affects the lives of their families.

BBBS is the only provider of one-to-one mentoring programs in Southeast New Mexico and offers its programs without charge to the families served. To ensure that each match is strong and safe, BBBS case workers talk with the Little, the parent or guardian, and the Big on a monthly basis. This allows the case worker to evaluate the progress of each relationship and to offer suggestions and advice to the adult mentor.

Numerous independent studies have shown that when compared to their non-mentored peers, Little Brothers and Little Sisters are less likely to use drugs and alcohol, have a more positive attitude toward the future, and are more likely to graduate from high school.

Even though much time and effort is expended in the recruitment of adult volunteers to become Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the agency always has children waiting to be matched with an adult volunteer. Funding received from North Eddy County United Way allows BBBS staff to spend more time recruiting and serving additional children and their families and less time fundraising.

So far this year, BBBS SENM has served more than 65 people (Littles and their families) in Artesia.

On the Move

By giving the homeless a roof over their heads, we not only relieve the fear that many have of them but we give them a safe environment where they can receive food, clothing and shelter… and maybe even a sense of community and self-worth!

Mark Silla has a dream of helping the homeless. Don Shell, Lindsey Givens, Tate Branch, Paula Givens, Shirley Murphy, Julia Ferguson, Gary and Rhonda Nelson, and Emory and Pamela Mann share his dream. On the Move is under the umbrella of San Juan Macias 501(c)(3). It is a faith-based organization; its vision is adopted from Isaiah 58:78 and the Lord’s admonition to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and help those in need.

We estimate 10-25 homeless in Artesia. We must be On the Move to help! Our van goes out on the street about once a month filled with clothing of all sizes, shoes and bedding. We open the back and allow people the opportunity to have what they need.

We have just recently joined forces with the Church of God on 20th Street and have a clothes closet there which is open the last Friday of each month during the food distribution. Call Lindsey at 365-5505 if you need clothes or have donations.

As a nonprofit organization, we are dependent on the generosity of the community for our support, and we appreciate all donations. We hope to set up a homeless camp soon to shelter people from the elements of winter. If you have questions, feel free to contact any of us and pray for God’s glory to shine through this ministry.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity (HFH) is a nonprofit organization that helps those in need to purchase a home interest-free.

There are guidelines, rules and regulations to follow, but overall, it is a wonderful program out there for families who can qualify and purchase a home and have it built from the bottom up.

My story begins about a little over 10 years ago when I first applied for Habitat for Humanity. They were having signups for HFH at the Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church Parish Hall at the time I had applied. Carmen Idoy was there helping answer questions and helping fill out applications.

To make this story short, she helped calculate my gross earnings and figures and thought I was going to be the next applicant. When she presented the paperwork to the president they did the calculations again and told me, I had made too much money over their brackets.

So as the years passed on, I had applied a couple more times and still my income was too much for what the brackets required for a single mother of two at the time. It wasn’t until last year I had a friend ask me to apply, but she and I went round and round on it because I kept telling her I would not qualify for it because I make too much. I have always made too much for their requirements.

I later received a letter in the mail in March 2015 that stated if I was still interested in applying for HFH that I should come to an orientation meeting on a Tuesday of the week. However, I had received this letter on Thursday, two days too late.

I was sad and upset and was wondering to myself why am I just getting this now. So I called the number on the letter, and the lady that answered was as puzzled as I was. She asked if I could meet up with her and another lady to do a pre-qualification, and so I met up with them the next day. I had all the paperwork necessary for my meeting, and the two ladies calculated and asked me questions and estimated and asked questions and gave me the news that I did not qualify. I thought, again. I then thanked them and left on my way back home.

I called up my friend and told her my story of the letter, the ladies meeting with me, and my income was still over their brackets. My friend was puzzled and asking me all these questions, and I just had to remind her that I had not been able to qualify for this program. She went on and on about how I was like her, in her shoes when she applied, and she qualified and is now living in and purchasing through Habitat for Humanity.

She said she was going to make some phone calls and not to give up on Habitat. I still don’t know who she called and spoke with. The weekend went on by, and into the next week, I received a call from Mrs. (Kathy) Phipps telling me that they would be accepting my application but this did not mean I was a chosen family. I needed to attend orientation and bring along more paperwork.

Once I hung up the phone with Mrs. Phipps, I began to gather every document that I was told to collect and made a file folder and organized myself for orientation. Once the meeting took place and information was transferred and gathered, it was going to be a waiting process and I was a total nervous wreck because of the wait for a call or a letter in the mail was just getting me anxious to know who will be the next family selected.

As two or three months went by and attending meetings for HFH, and helping with any fundraisers that came up, I was still nervous. One day at work, I happen to get a phone call from Mrs. Phipps, to let me know that I will be another family to purchase a home. That really made my day. I had been trying to purchase a house with the realtors here and it had been impossible for me; and now I get to do it through HFH.

I have learned throughout my journey with Habitat for Humanity that they get support from United Way and through other local businesses. I am very grateful for all the continued support from our community given to HFH.

My name is Fatima Salinas. My family and I have been chosen to be the next family to purchase a home through Habitat for Humanity (HFH) on 803 S. Third St.