When a refugee family arrives in New Mexico, they often come with little to no possessions besides the clothes on their backs in search of a better life. Often these families have had their whole lives uprooted by violence or persecution because of race, religion, nationality or membership in a particular social or political group. These families are forced to start their lives over, often just needing a leg up to work toward a self-sufficient life in a foreign place.
Lutheran Family Services helps these families in need find housing and provides basic necessities to get refugees’ lives re-started here. The organization heavily relies on donations of new and gently used items from the community to be able to give refugees a warm welcome to the city. LFR also helps them learn the English language and cultural orientation. It also helps families with skills, such as how to write a resume, or finding resources for school or employment.
Lutheran Family Services — Rocky Mountains has been working with other churches, organizations, community groups, businesses and individuals since 1975 to provide these services.
LFS Donation Needs
Coats and jackets for men, women and children:
- Extra large
- Shampoo and conditioner bottles
- Body wash bottles
- Tubes of toothpaste
- Bars of soap
Pillows and other bedding:
- Pillows (priority)
- Pillow covers
- Blankets (priority)
- Comforters (priority) for queen and full-size beds (no twin or king-size beds)
- Sheets for twin, full and queen beds
Gift cards in $10, $20, $25, $50 denominations to purchase other items such as bathroom cleaning kits, cleaning supplies and towels are also in need. They are a preferred form of donation due to their portability and the ability toe fulfill other needs. LFS asks that gift cards be from Walmart, Target or Smith’s.
Call the LFS offices, 230 Truman St. NE, in advance to schedule donation drop-offs. Call 505-835-5521 or email email@example.com for any questions.
There are variety of ways people can volunteer to orient new refugees in New Mexico, including cultural mentoring, tutoring, making welcome baskets and refugee advocacy. For more information or to apply, go to the LFS volunteer page.