Coats for Kids
Now in its 28th year, Coats for Kids has provided over 55,000 warm winter coats to Doña Ana County children. Says Dawn Hommer, CEO of CAASNM, “Every year the community comes together to make Coats for Kids possible for the thousands of area children in need of warm winter coats. We’re ecstatic about the outpouring of community support. Thanks to all of our partners, sponsors and donors.” www.Lascrucescoatsforkids.com
Coats for Kids is CAASNM’s community drive for new and gently used warm winter coats for children newborn-11 in the County, including rural locations such as Hatch and Gadsden. Each year, some 3,000 coats are given out, and over its 27 year history, nearly 55,000 coats have been distributed. CAASNM thanks its partners, including Comet Cleaners, 101 Gold radio, Knights of Columbus and D2 Designs who assist Coats for Kids with fundraising and volunteers every year. www.Lascrucescoatsforkids.com
- Age limit: New-born through 5th grade (age 11)
- Parents must pre-register to be eligible to receive a free coat for their child. Please contact CAASNM for further information.
- Kids are also identified by school social workers and counselors in Las Cruces Public Schools, Hatch Valley Public Schools, Gadsden Independent School District, and other site administrators.
Doña Ana County
I’ve really enjoyed all of Kids Can, as it has taught me so many valuable skills, from marketing to public speaking and online sales. I always enjoy talking with customers and learning how to read people to find a product they would like. The program has helped me understand people in other aspects of my life, too, and I feel confident. My business has always been a way for me to be creative and try new things
Arabella developed “Shrinky Chains” as her business building project with Kids Can Youth Entrepreneur program, starting in 6th grade. She was recently a community spotlight on local radio stations. She makes keychains and wine glass charms, from symbols of the Southwest to sports teams. She learned marketing and public speaking, as well as marketing, financial management, and logistics.
Her experiences with Kids Can have also given her confidence and independence, which she says have made her more ready to succeed in college.
A single mother of 3-year-old twins became a client of Thriving Families in 2019, referred by her physician. She was triaged to several community programs, including Aprendamos Early Intervention and HeadStart. She participated in an IDA program at CAASNM to save for education and which also improved her credit score. Her family became COVID-affected and was provided emergency assistance for utilities when she fell behind. Thriving Families continued its whole family approach to assist Bernice manage her family and also achieve her educational goals; she graduated with a degree in physiology from NMSU and will continue to her Master’s Degree.
Alana is a 24-year old single mother of a 4-year old also caring for a disabled mother. She lives in Deming, Luna County, but is facing eviction due to the high cost of her housing. Worse, her family feels unsafe due to continual verbal abuse and harassment.
Alana contacted the CAASNM offices where she was referred to the housing stability team. One of the CAASNM housing navigators started to explore alternate options in Deming,
which is a tight housing market. She interviewed previous landlords that she had worked with on the program, until finding one with a 2+ bedroom lower-rent apartment. She also worked to reassure the landlord about Alana and facilitated their meeting.
Finally, Alana was able to sign a lease and move in, with help finding furnishings.
Thank you so much for empowering our family through the Individual Development Account award. We have increased our credit score, paid off our car and bought a home with an office for our business. Thank you for taking a chance on us and we look forward to updating you on our business ventures.
Annie is a participant in CAASNM’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) from Truth or Consequences. She is a grandmother helping raise grandchildren and she also cares for her sick mother. Annie is very thankful for this program because it allows her to care for her mom and grandchildren. She has three grandchildren who live with her and she takes care of four grandchildren that don’t. The program reimburses her for nutritious food for all seven children in addition to her disabled mom.
Annie is a very special lady and has gone through a lot. She has been doing childcare for a long time. She cared for her sick father and then her husband before they passed away and now she is caring for her mom. She took a part time job at night with Walmart in-order to buy Christmas presents for of all her grandchildren, her brother and 18 year old grandson who stays to look after the children and Annie’s mom while she is working. She is a true success because she perseveres with all of her hardships, but with a little help from CAASNM.
Muhammad came from Pakistan and found the culture challenging as well as financially, caring for older parents and raising his children. CAASNM’s family financial empowerment program helped him save for college with an IDA and also learn about finances and saving so he could buy a home and pay for his board exams. He is now a 4th year medical student with one semester left. “CAASNM staff were very helpful and like family to me. They helped me get through their program very easily.”
Jessica came to the first day of Kids Can Business Builders determined to do it alone. Our instructors could see no smile or willingness to join a group. As a group we shared what our hobbies are and what we do when we get home. Jessica loves to play video games all by herself after-school. Her favorite video game has a Llama character and is very popular with her peers. She felt like products with a llama would sell well at a Kids Can pop-up market. Then another young lady talked about how much she likes pink flamingos. They grouped their ideas together and created hand-woven “Flamas” and the “Flamaverse” (flamingos and llama together). A new friendship formed and Jessica’s perspective of group work has changed. She is happier and more willing to contribute her ideas in class discussion on business topics and we can see these two girls talking and laughing, eating after-school snack together.