Who you’ve helped this year: A Santa Fe couple fell behind on bills after the husband lost his job. They were in danger of having their car repossessed and were afraid they wouldn’t be able to buy Christmas presents for their 13-year-old son. The Empty Stocking Fund paid their utilities and car payment.

Who it helps: Hundreds of people receive aid from the fund during the holiday season to help cover rent payments, medical bills, utility costs, car repairs, home improvements and other needs. Applicants, who must live in Santa Fe or Rio Arriba counties and must provide a Social Security number, are considered without regard to race, age, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation.

How it works: Applications for funding are carefully vetted. Members of the Empty Stocking Committee review requests and meet with each qualifying applicant to examine records of outstanding bills or other needs, and to verify the applicant’s income. If a request is approved, the committee sends a check directly to the service supplier. The cap for most requests is $1,000.

2019 Goal: $250,000This holiday charity project of the Santa Fe New Mexican, which began in 1981, is jointly administered each year by the Santa Fe Community Foundation, Enterprise Bank and Trust, the Salvation Army, Presbyterian Medical Services, The Life Link, Habitat for Humanity and the Housing Trust.

Testimonial: “Because of the donation I received, my car can get the repairs it needs to provide me with transportation for many more years. I am so very grateful!” — Helen, a 2019 recipient.

To donate: Make your tax-deductible donation online at santafenewmexican.com/empty_stocking or mail a check to The New Mexican’s Empty Stocking Fund c/o the Santa Fe Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1827, Santa Fe, NM 87504-1827. Donors can request to remain anonymous.

If you can provide a service such as roofing or home repairs, contact Habitat for Humanity at repairs@santafehabitat.org. If you can contribute food, clothing, toys, housewares, furniture, firewood, or other items or services, call the Salvation Army at 505-988-8054.

Donor of the day: Students and staff at the New Mexico School for the Deaf donated over $500 in proceeds from their winter variety show to the Empty Stocking Fund.

“It was about helping the kids understand that there is a lot of need out there and that we can make a difference,” said Keri-Lynn McBride, the school’s director of development and public relations.

DonationsAnonymous: $450

John and Joyce Begnoche: $200

Bransford Truck and Auto Inc.: $250

Roberta Brashears: $100

Joseph Clarke, in memory of Tupac and Spike Dog: $100

Karin Hall, in memory of Wendy Adler: $100

Harvey and Sarah Morse: $100

Nathanson/Juris Family Fund: $250

Pierrette Hondagneu and Michael Messner Charitable Fund: $300

Total: $1,850

Cumulative total: $253,852.28

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