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  • Writer's picturelilmyacofield

Christmas Column

United Way Steps Up for the Holidays By Don Eskins It’s hard to believe that another year has rolled around and that Christmas time is already here. But, here it is! And although Covid-19 has created a year of new norms and a nationwide economic crisis for us it should be comforting, for those in Carlsbad who may be in need of help this holiday season, to know that Cavern City assistance agencies are ready to help out. United Way doing its part As a result of Covid-19, it has been a difficult year economically in Carlsbad for many. Due to the loss of jobs in the area, according to Linda Dodd of the United Way of Eddy County, daily applications for those in need of assistance has never been higher. “We have seen an influx in the number of people who are applying for assistance this year,” said Dodd, “many of whom are applying for the first time.” The United Way, which continues to assist families with rent, utilities and food as a result of layoffs or loss of hours due to Covid-19, has now turned its attention to the specifics of the upcoming holiday season. Much of that attention is focused on helping to alleviate the load shared by other Carlsbad assistance organizations. In short, the United Way wants to do more. “We’ve always tried to help supplement other non-profit organizations in Carlsbad but we’ve never really gotten directly involved. However, that’s all changed now due to our recent pandemic,” said Dodd. “Now we’re trying to assist as many people as we can. If some of our city’s non-profit assistance programs are overloaded with clients, such as the Ray Anaya Christmas Anonymous Program, we help out. ”Making it happen for the holidays While the United Way and other Carlsbad non-profit organizations are working hard to make this year’s holiday season a happy one for all, Dodd says this couldn’t happen were it not for the many donations they receive from the community. “Although we have received some grants from the state to help people who have been affected by problems associated with Covid-19,” said Dodd, “all of our money comes through donations from companies, business’ and individuals right here in the Cavern City.” “Carlsbad, as are we here at United Way, should be very appreciative of their efforts to help area families in need, especially during this holiday season,” she said. How to help out or get help All non-profit agencies who help out with the distribution of food, clothing and toys for those in need, especially during the holiday season, depend on donations from members of its community. Dodd encourages all of Carlsbad’s community members to continue to do their part in the assistance for those in need. It’s the only way programs like the United Way, Jonah’s House and the Ray Anaya’s Christmas Anonymous Program (to mention only a few) can continue to help those in need. However, at this particular time, while the United Way is currently accepting toy donations for its Santa’s Helper program it isn’t accepting food. “People who wish to donate food should take it to one of our local food banks,” said Dodd. “We have several here in Carlsbad, all of which are doing a great job of seeing that it gets out to those in need for the holidays. ”Families still in need for the holidays may contact the United Way for help at 887-3504 or 211.“211 is our direct line for assistance in Eddy County,” Dodd said. “For people who call we do our best to help out, but if we can’t, we can refer them to other non-profit organizations in our area that probably can. ”Helping those in need of assistance at this very special time of the year requires a lot of effort from organizations such as the United Way. “Our goal is to help spread holiday cheer to everyone regardless of age,” said Dodd. “With the help of Carlsbad’s other non-profit organizations, I think we can do just that.”

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