Employee holiday gift drive raises $58,000 and buys more than 2,500 gifts

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Dec. 23, 2020—Los Alamos National Laboratory is teaming up with local nonprofits to distribute holiday gifts bought with record-breaking employee donations. Partners include organizations like Barrios Unidos, Gerard’s House, Help NM, and New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department.

“It is heartwarming to see such an outpouring of generosity in a year when many of our neighbors across Northern New Mexico are facing added hardship,” said Thom Mason, Laboratory director. “I am grateful the Laboratory has joined efforts with our community partners to make the holidays a little brighter for people in the region.”

Each pre-packaged gift kit is valued at $25 and contains items purchased from New Mexico businesses. Children’s gifts are sourced from Taos-based nonprofit Twirl and contain age-appropriate, educational goodies including working toy microscopes, thinking putty, memory-building card games, and 3-D dinosaur puzzles.

About our partners:

Twirl, Taos, is a play and discovery space with the mission of supporting the growth and potential of children through inspirational, community-wide opportunities to gather, learn, create and play. Its nonprofit store offers educational toys encouraging critical thinking and creativity.

Barrios Unidos, Chimayo, is an interdisciplinary, intergenerational and intercultural community investigating cultural and psychological issues related to addiction and cultural trauma in the Española Valley.

Gerard’s House, Santa Fe, is a safe place for grieving children, teens and families where healing happens through acceptance and peer support. Since 1997, the organization has helped more than 10,000 children and youth regain hope and restore relationships in the face of serious loss.

Help NM, Albuquerque, has nine locations in Northern New Mexico and works diligently to change lives and improve communities through programs in employment, education, cognitive development, income building, housing, health, behavioral development, civic engagement and community involvement.

New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the state’s children through a culture of accountability, support, and behavioral health programs.

Caption for image below: Gifts for community youth are toys encouraging critical thinking and creativity. Photos courtesy of Twirl.

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