Rotary club Los Lunas children’s clothing succeeded

Los Lunas Rotary Club members Heather Benavides, George Greenlee and George Hobbs prepare to meet the “Clothes for Kids” participants along with Camille Grego, Parent and Community Liaison Coordinator at Los Lunas Schools.

LOS LUNAS – The Rotary Club of Los Lunas has been providing children’s clothing for over 20 years. Even the pandemic couldn’t stop that effort, although in 2020, the club had to be a little more creative to make it work.

Resuming pre-COVID practice, Rotary members were once again matched with students and benefited from a $100 clothing shopping spree at Walmart in Los Lunas.

Working with Los Lunas Schools to identify those in need, Camille Griego, Los Lunas Schools Parent and Community Liaison Coordinator, wrote in a letter to the club, “Your organization is fantastic! Thank you for your partnership and support for students and families in our community!”

By utilizing the annual breakfast fundraiser, the club was able to increase the number of sponsored students from 60 to 80 students. This year, the fundraiser beat its financial goals, and the club raised more than $18,000 from both ticket sales and generous sponsorships from local businesses and individuals.

With the club quickly realizing that it would just be a logistical problem to increase the number of students being served, George Greenlee, club president and annual event coordinator, said, “This is a really big problem!”

The solution was for the club to collaborate with other non-profit groups in the Los Lunas area. Matthew’s Episcopal Church and Peralta Memorial United Methodist Church both have Christmas clothing programs, and Valencia Shelter services are always in need of clothing for displaced families.

“The Lord provides us with opportunities that we do not always see for ourselves,” said Reverend Robert Mundy, former president of the club and vicar of St Matthew’s Episcopal Church. Saint Matthew will use the money to buy clothes for needy children identified by their congregation members.

Peralta Methodist works with the Women’s Recovery Program, and the money for her will be used to buy clothes for children whose parents are undergoing drug rehabilitation. Connie Irwin, the club’s incoming president, coordinated the effort with Peralta Methodist.

“Every child, no matter the circumstances, deserves clothes—especially in winter,” Irwin said.

“We are very grateful to the sponsors of this event,” Greenlee added. “Their generous donations work here in our community. The club looks forward to continuing this worthwhile program for many years to come.”

Information about the club is available online at The Rotary meets every Tuesday noon at Ribes Restaurant in Los Lunas.

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