A clothing drive has started to help the victims of the forest fires

SANTA FE, NM (KRQE) — It’s been nearly two months since the peak Calf Canyon Hermits fire began and communities in the area are still in need of help. “Just looking at the fires from afar, I had anxiety in my stomach,” says Annette Velarde.

During these two months, some living near the Calf Canyon Hermits Peak Fire were evacuated from their homes. “I can’t imagine having to move so quickly with children, with animals, not knowing if you were going to have something to take home,” said some leaving with just the clothes on their backs.

“As he grew, I continued to see the need for resources,” Velarde said.

Resources such as food, water, and cleaning supplies quickly piled up, but Velarde noticed another need: clothing. “My family was evacuated from our small farm and our ranch,” Velarde said.

Velarde grew up in Mora and has family in Las Vegas sharing the hardships they face. “All I could do at that point was watch them or help them evacuate or whatever,” Velarde said. Now she doesn’t want to sit around watching anymore, so Velarde organizes a clothing drive.

“On social media, people wanted to donate clothes,” Velarde said. “So it kind of became my mission was ‘okay, let’s do a clothing drive’.”

Collecting new and gently used items from Albuquerque, Santa Fe and surrounding communities. “I received e-mails. I’m heading to Mora this afternoon, there are four pick-ups I have to do this afternoon,” Velarde said.

Knowing that her hometown community is proud, she wants readily available resources. “I don’t want them to have to ask for help, I just want him to be there and, you know, that’s the point,” Velarde said.

Details are still being worked out, but Velarde says the cast day should take place at the Las Vegas Elks Lodge within the next two weeks.

She also tries to find a place to distribute to Mora. If you are interested in making a donation, you can contact Annette, here.

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