January 16, 2019
Written by: Sarah Cox, Clinical Director (La Casa Inc.)
Las Cruces, New Mexico -A local group of United States Army volunteers from White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico (3-6 AMDTD) are joining forces with La Casa Inc., a domestic violence agency (non-profit organization) in Las Cruces, New Mexico to support victims of domestic violence and eradicate violence in the local community.
On October 31, 2018, a group of three Army volunteers arrived at La Casa Inc. to work side-byside with agency staff, decorating the hallways of the agency for Halloween festivities, including a candy walk for small children and a haunted house for older children who were residing at the time in the domestic violence shelter at LCI.
Due to the nature of domestic violence relationships and prioritizing safety of families who are admitted into shelter, holidays can become a less-than-exciting time of year for many children who are simply trying to cope with the hardship caused by violence. Families are often forced to leave many possessions behind when fleeing violent relationships, and with that, most victims and their children experience intense financial and emotional hardships. The children are the most innocent victims of domestic violence. This group of volunteers recognized their hardship and responded selflessly and compassionately.
During their time off from their usual military work, the volunteers worked together to hang colorful fabric from the ceiling and lay down colorful floor squares to simulate a popular candy themed board game. They worked for several hours until half the building was sparkly and the other half spooky. Being tasked with decorating and handing out candy to young residents of La Casa Inc. ‘s domestic violence shelter, they fulfilled the mission of showing compassion, but upon completion of their tasks-they immediately asked if they could stay and tear down all the decor and clean up the agency building.
Halloween was a great success at LCI due to the help of our partner Army volunteers. As December drew closer, this group stepped up to the plate again. In December 2018, this group offered to serve the clients and families of LCI during the holiday season. The initial group of three volunteers took initiative and recruited an additional 9 volunteers and one military spouse affiliated with 3-6 AMDTD to join together with LCI to host a client holiday party ( complete with Santa and gifts for victims and their children).
Again, this group of volunteers showed up early on December 13, 2018 and they were ready to work. A total of 13 volunteers decorated holiday themed tables, rolled flatware, acted as food servers, completed craft projects with children, gave holiday gifts to clients, and even played the role of Santa and Santa’s helper. The holidays for the clients and their children at LCI in 2018 would not have been as merry and bright without the brave members of the U.S. Army fighting in the most merciful way against the pain and suffering caused by domestic violence. They put down their weapons and fought this battle with charity.
The volunteer group has offered continued support and assistance to La Casa Inc. and is committed to the cause of eradicating domestic violence and comforting victims and their families.
- Marco Valdez
- Keenan Williams
- Joshua Rios
- John Johnson
- Steven Dekrey
- Daniel Brawner
- Cuatemoch Ortiz
- Justin Chacon
- Robert Stephenson
- Gerald Cruz
- William Buckley
- Miranda Johnson
- Daniel Harris