For the past 30 years, The New Mexican has continued a Thanksgiving tradition of honoring local people who use their time, talents and passions to give back to the community.
Stories about the 10 Who Made a Difference for 2015 will publish over the next 10 days, beginning today with Enrique M. Montoya, 70, a Santa Fe native and a deacon at St. Anne Catholic Church. Montoya, whose life of volunteer service includes comforting hospice patients and delivering holiday meals, says he gets joy out of helping people in need. “It is part of our nature [as humans] to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves,” he says.
Montoya and others chosen as this year’s honorees were nominated by their friends and neighbors. Some have been big contributors to small communities in Northern New Mexico, such as Chimayó and Eldorado. One strives to shine a light on mental health issues. Another is a lifelong educator. Others have helped strangers in crisis, built trails, boosted Native art, promoted civic awareness and helped communities develop clean water systems.
Since this feature first started in 1985, The New Mexican has honored more than 300 people. But it’s not about them, it’s about inspiring all of us to reach outside ourselves and find a way to help heal the world.