RAC’s Community-Based Committee Off to a Good Start       

The Rio Arriba County All ‘Bout Communities (RAC-ABC) Committee successfully donated over 90 coats to those in need this year for their first successful coat drive and over 17 meals to needy families for Thanksgiving, as well as additional food items to a local soup kitchen. This newly formed committee is the first of its’ kind in County history and thus far, has received great support from County employees and the public alike.  

“We are so happy to have received such great support from everyone. The idea for this type of committee came to us because we felt that our community deserved to know that their County is heavily invested,” said Committee Chair Erika Martinez. “Rio Arriba County (RAC) is such an integrated organization and taxpayers trust us with so much. This is just one more way to not only be more present within the community, but also to give back in ways that really matter.”

According to Martinez, County employees volunteered their time after work and during weekends to partake in fundraisers and to prepare supplies for drives. Donations were also received from several entities: The Fraternal Order of the Eagles, HelpNM, The Young Guns 4H Club of El Rito and Lowe’s of Chama. According to Martinez, money donations were also received from the public, as well as from RAC employees.

Martinez said that principals of each elementary school, which the committee picked at random for the coat drive, provided names of children in need. As far as the food distribution went, the committee used as many internal resources as possible. The committee agreed that using internal resources was an efficient strategy seeing as how these specific departments deal with County citizens in need of financial assistance in several different ways. Through the Health and Human Services Department, the Indigent Fund Program and several other departments, names of families in need were provided. Members of the committee also took it upon themselves to reach out and network in the public to identify families.

“Our newly formed committee has been pretty successful thus far,” said Assistant County Manager David Trujillo. “They have met all their goals and then some. I’m excited to see the momentum they pick up as they continue to try and make a difference.”

-Erika L. Martinez, November 2012