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PB&J helps those in need

—Tanya Otero

“It’s been a hard year and I just didn’t think we would have Christmas this year,” said a mom who attended PB&J Family Services programs with her two young children. But Christmas happened for this mother and more than 450 other families in Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties thanks to the local businesses, churches, schools, civic groups and families who “adopted” a family through PB&J’s Adopt-a-Family Holiday Wish Program.

There are many volunteers who made this happen including Becky Medina who works with the Social Security Administration and facilitates their campaign to adopt more than 150 of PB&J’s children every year.

“I’m a mom, and when I saw socks, underwear, pillows, and blankets on the wish list, I knew it was real necessities,” said Medina, who went home and convinced her husband Robert to get involved. Robert brought the idea to his employer and colleagues at Reliable Chevrolet/Nissan. After sharing stories of the families in need, everyone at Reliable got involved. A tree went up with ornaments listing the names and wishes for 230 children.

“Every child was adopted within a week, and they kept wanting to do more and more to help,” says PB&J’s Dina Ma’ayan. The company also matched every wish with $10 gift to PB&J’s “Keep’n the Lights On” Fund, which helps PB&J families with their electric bills.

Feeling touched by the stories of these families, the company offered to help with two of PB&J’s families—providing Christmas toys, clothing, and household items for everyone in the family.


SC Master Gardeners present 2012 volunteer check at Commission meeting

Sandoval County Master Gardeners (SCMG), sponsored by the County Extension Service, presented a “Big Check” in the amount of $374,282 to the residents of Sandoval County at the County Commissioners’ meeting on December 13, 2012.  The check represented the 2012 SCMG Volunteer monetary benefit to the community.

The 2012 SCMG Coordinator, Sam Thompson, and the 2013 SCMG Coordinator, Sandra Liakus, co-presented on the 2012 SCMG Volunteer contribution to the County Commissioners. This contribution included the monetary value for all 2012 SCMG volunteer hours including the value of vegetables harvested by Master Gardeners at the Seed2Need gardens in Corrales for local food banks. 

The volunteer hour total was multiplied by the Federal IRS minimum wage rate for public volunteers to arrive at the $374,282 total amount. 

The Master Gardeners educate and assist the residents of Sandoval County on their horticulture questions. In addition, Master Gardeners maintain community demonstration gardens such as the Placitas Community Library, Las Placitas Memorial gardens in Placitas, and the Rio Rancho WaterWise Garden.    

65,038 lbs. of fresh produce were harvested at the Seed2Need gardens by Master Gardeners and trucked to Sandoval County food banks. The Master Gardeners have established a special needs garden at the La Buena Vida Mental Health service clinic in Bernalillo along with working with the City of Bernalillo to plan for a community garden.

The SCMG work with “Keep Rio Rancho Beautiful” to assess the health of trees in Rio Rancho Parks through the Tree Steward program.


SC Master Gardeners offers classes

Gardening with the Masters offers a no fee, no registration class on Growing Tomatoes on February 5, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Meadowlark Senior Center, 4330 Meadowlark Lane, SE, in Rio Rancho. Instructors are Therese Barts and Sam Thompson, Veteran Master Gardeners.

The SW Homeowner Gardening Classes offered by Sandoval County Master Gardeners will begin Thursday, February 7, 2013, for eight weeks ending March 28. The cost is $16 per person or $25 per couple or $5 per class. Registration is required. The location is the Sandoval County Cooperative Extension office, 711 Camino del Pueblo (Old County Courthouse), Bernalillo, NM. Classes will be from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. and will include Fruit Trees, Vineyard Management, Small Fruits and Berries, Principles of Xeriscape, Vegetable Gardening, Gardening in Drought Conditions, Composting, and Herbs.

To register, or for more information, call 867-2582. There will be no lecture in January.

 
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