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Letter To The Editor: ‘Youth Helping Refugee Youth’ Drive Underway Through Aug. 11

on August 4, 2017 - 9:05am
By Sarah and Madelyn Crotzer
Lindsey Thalmann and Pippa Fung
Ashley and Anthony Lestone
Jacob and Richard Thompson

A “youth helping refugee youth” initiative to collect a few items for refugee students recently resettled in Albuquerque is taking place right now, and we invite all our community’s youth to participate.

A local church is collecting 40 new solid-color backpacks sized for middle to high school students (no sports team logos or other logos allowed), along with the necessary basic school supplies to fill those backpacks, such as 2-inch binders, loose leaf paper, pencils and pens, colored pencils, highlighters, rulers, scissors, compasses, protractors, etc.

As interested youth, we’d like to supplement that effort by collecting a few additional items that we know will be useful and very appreciated. We’re asking the community’s youth to help us gather 40 of the following items no later than Friday, Aug. 11:

  • Deodorant twin-packs (one for PE class and one for everyday use);
  • Packages of new socks (because who doesn't need new un-hole-y socks?);
  • Lunch boxes;
  • Water bottles;
  • Inexpensive thumb drives;
  • Earbuds;
  • $25 Walmart gift cards (to be used for class-specific items not found in the generic supplies being gathered, such as calculators for science class or tennis shoes for PE class);
  • Small uplifting decorations (for use on binders or backpacks); and
  • If you really want to make a difference, include a note with your item listing your Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook username and invite a refugee youth to become friends. Personal connections and friendship are 110 percent the coolest part of what our community youth can offer.

Drop boxes for donations are available at three locations:

  • Merrick at 600 6th St. (the building right behind the Los Alamos Smith’s) is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday;
  • Bethlehem Lutheran Church at 2390 North Road is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday; and
  • White Rock Smith’s where youth can drop their donations in the “Youth Helping Refugee Youth” box. (The $25 Walmart gift cards should be given to office staff at Bethlehem Lutheran Church for safekeeping.)
  • All supplies will be delivered to Lutheran Family Services in Albuquerque for distribution to the refugee youth. Questions about this youth initiative or the main school supply drive may be directed to Interfaith.LosAlamos@gmail. com, the organization coordinating these refugee assistance activities.

Thank you in advance for your generosity and for supporting our “youth helping refugee youth” effort!