[July 30, 2020: Deming Headlight]
Ariana Saludares believes people do what they can – when they can. Her belief has been strengthened by the outpouring of support for Deming and Luna County families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 causes the coronavirus. As of Thursday, 218 people have tested positive in Luna County. In the month of July, 136 positives tests were reported by the New Mexico Department of Health. The virus has been associated with three deaths in the county.
“The number of families in need during this pandemic is astounding,” Saludares said during a telephone interview on Thursday. “I am amazed at the support we are getting to help these families through tough times.”
Saludares has been organizing food commodities distributions since June from her home and now from the Deming National Guard Armory at the corner of Ash and Pearl streets (700 S. Pearl St.).
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She is a member of Colores United in Deming, the nonprofit volunteer organization that was instrumental in helping with the influx of immigrants in 2019. Immigrants, primarily from Central America, were bused into Deming by the U.S. Border Patrol in May of last year. The city and county declared a state of emergency and over 10,000 immigrants were processed in Deming and sent toward families and sponsored across the United States.
“I truly believe the volunteer efforts in our community during the immigrant situation is the reason why we are seeing so much support from outside sources to help feed our community,” Saludares said.
Since March of this year, Saludares and Colores United have provided the community with over 2,000 care packages when the pandemic reached the area. “We were able to provide diapers and other necessities that were left over from the immigrant program,” Saludares explained.
The Heart of the World Church in El Paso was working with the Hospitality Coalition and caught wind of the continued work Colores United was providing in Deming and Luna County. Colores also reaches out to Palomas, Chih. Mexico and provides support for families across the border.
“This is how we are networking,” Saludares says, “it’s a border network.
Saludares and different organizations and volunteer groups have been distributing fruit and vegetable boxes to the community from the armory. Last week, Deming Cesar Chavez Charter High School stepped up to help with the distribution. On occasion, Colores has distributed boxes filled with dairy products....MORE