The staff of the MCH Family Outreach office in Las Cruces, N.M., are dedicated to helping others. Along with their everyday duties on the job, the group also devotes time to volunteer at other local nonprofits. Kimberly York, director of the Las Cruces office, said her team has committed to a “Day of Service” at least once every quarter and feels it is an important aspect of their work in this new outreach location.
“It has been great for us to learn about what each person (on our team) is passionate about,” York said. “Deciding our next assignment sparks some great discussion about how people would like to give back to our community while learning more about the great work other agencies are doing. It is heartwarming to see that our team shares a genuine passion for giving back.”
So far the Las Cruces team has volunteered to serve hot meals at the El Caldito Soup Kitchen and put up walls in Habitat for Humanity homes of some of their very own Circle of Security class graduates. They next plan to volunteer at the Gospel Rescue Mission’s Clothing Center where they refer several of their Grandparents As Parents Program (GAPP) clients for free clothing. Beatrice Jimenez, administrative assistant for the office, participated in both ‘days of service’ events.
“Being new myself to social services and as the administrative assistant, I feel we can all contribute however we can to understand the needs of the community,” Jimenez said. “Volunteering is a great way to hear and see the effect that it has on people and learn what challenges face our area in particular.”
York said the Las Cruces community has welcomed MCH and they have received an “outpouring of support” from the school board to the mayor’s office since the office opened last summer. They currently serve 19 grandparents through GAPP and are leading four parenting classes in the community. York said they also have plans to connect with several more organizations in the area to strengthen the support net for the families they serve.
York is proud of her team and their efforts to connect with others in the community through volunteer service.
“I truly believe that what comes from the heart reaches the heart and that people would rather see a sermon than hear one any day,” York said. “When I first moved to New Mexico a year ago, I did so with a mission to get a bird’s eye view and understanding of the unique Southwestern culture. When you are in the trenches with people, you get to know so much about their journey and what’s meaningful to them. It’s an opportunity to see the world through someone else’s eyes and to grow as a result of the rich exchange.”