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April 22, 2020
Dear friend,
 
In a recent interview Bill Gates was asked, "What gives you hope?" One of his answers was that now,  more than ever, we have a clear vision of how connected we are. Beyond our work to stay home to keep each other safe, we see communities coming together with ingenuity and compassion to solve challenges never before seen.

As we navigate a new normal apart from each other, nurturing that connection is at the heart of our work.

We are connected in our safety. We hope you and your loved ones are safe in your homes. 
We are more grateful than ever that our program can be a true embodiment of it's name- a refuge.  Worries our families would have faced a year or two ago- things like unstable housing and uncontrollable risk of infection at shelters- are alleviated at Saranam.

We are connected in our resourcefulness. Everyone has transitioned to online meetings, classes and tutoring and are more intentional than ever about reaching out.
Thanks to our community partner St. Chad's Episcopal Church, every household has a computer and access to the internet. We continue to provide case management, tutoring, activities for children, and community meetings to provide support for the emotional toll this crisis takes.

We are connected in our frustrations. While technology is wonderful, we are also adjusting to the challenges it brings.
Adults are in their last week of CNM classes. The opportunity to learn online has ensured their learning progresses, but it is a departure from a traditional environment. Some of our families tell us it is frustrating to be unable to ask questions, clarify, or have hands-on experience. 
 
We are connected in our joys. We are still reaching goals and celebrating those milestones is more important than ever.
This year one of our mothers finished the GED she has been fighting to get for over a decade. Four of the kids in our program are finishing 5th grade! Some graduations are delayed while hands-on modules are now on hold, but are a bright spot on the horizon.

Thanks to the hard work of our Family Stability Advocate, we are now connected to 75% of our alumni- more than ever before! 

Four of our alumni families have now applied for a savings account from Prosperity Works, which will turn their $500 in savings into $2,500! And two of our alumni plan to apply to be recipients of a Habitat for Humanity house. We are so proud of the steps they are taking!

We are connected in our future. 
Thanks to the support you've given our families through Saranam, they have a path forward, complete with tools to meet the challenges the future will bring.


Our connections give us strength but more than that, they give us hope. We are all in this together and we are so grateful for all you are doing to make our world healthier, equitable and caring.
Hearts Turned Outward
When the world turned upside down, your hearts turned outward. 
Wow! Just when we thought it wasn't possible, our community got even more amazing. 

Thank you to all who have contributed to our Family Supply Drive. This provides families with essentials like toilet paper, diapers and soap. With  your support, we have been able to fulfill families' needs for March and April!

Fun fact: Instead of 4 hours in 2 stores, with shortages and no volunteer help, it took our Housing Coordinator 10 hours in 5 stores to get everything we needed in March!

Just as in our own homes, these needs will not end this month. Without donations to subsidize our supplies, it costs about $2,000 a month to provide supplies for our families. That's only $120 per family. To do this we still need your help. 

Please consider supporting our Family Supply Drive to  make sure that our families can remain safe and have what they need to care for their families. 

 Thank you! 
The Future Needs You
Did you ever wonder what the $1,200 stimulus does? Besides providing relief for people whose jobs have been affected by COVID-19 and encouraging spending, it allows people to make proactive decisions to ensure their economic security.

With savings,   our own families have shown us that they pay off debts, purchase cars and invest further in their education.

Cash infusions have been increasingly used in recent years as an effective anti-poverty measure.  This crisis has put into sharp relief the challenges low-income families face and we know that more families than ever will need skills to safeguard their futures.

We are prepared to help.  We want to bring in 10 more families to our program in August so they can begin building their safety net. The need has never been greater.

We understand these are difficult times, but whether you can donate $5 or earmark a portion of your stimulus for an upcoming family, every dollar will help a family affected by this crisis find a way home. 

Support our families today. 

Like us on Facebook
Link to Family Supply Drive
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Contact Dianne Campbell at:
saranam.dianne@gmail.com or (505) 934-9110

 Good Neighbors  
For many years we have been planning an expansion of our program to meet a burgeoning need that our current facilities cannot handle. As you may have heard, o ur intention is to build a second site next to Mesa View Methodist Church in the Taylor Ranch neighborhood.  

The formal expansion is still very far off, particularly considering our current affairs. However, site plan modifications are still in process and a sign recently  went up on the property, inspiring questions from the neighborhood residents about Saranam's program. 


We understand the community's desire to know more and w e are happy to give more information, address misconceptions and tell our families' stories of success.  Our goal is to be the best neighbors we can be. 

To aid this, we have put our plans and answers to many of the common questions on our website. 

You can help! 

Share with your friends, neighbors and coworkers what a difference our program makes for families experiencing homelessness. 

We want to let people know that our families are making a long-term commitment and want to invest  in the safety, connection and prosperity of the neighborhood they raise their families in.  We chose this location not only for the benefits it offers our families, but because we know we can be an asset to them as well. 

Our families want homes and a place where they can give back through volunteering, participating in their kids' schools, and using their new job skills to contribute to the economic prosperity of the community.

We are confident that with this information the neighborhood will treasure our program as much as we value what our families bring to our community.

Spread the word!
Head on over to our website  to learn more about our plans.
Building a Strong Community
In addition to their generous grant support, Blue Cross Blue Shield NM gave goody bags to our adults and children. 
Thank you!

There is no place like home.  We want thank the grantors and community groups that gave this month to make the state they call home a better place. We are so grateful to be their partners.

We have shared  families' stories of overcoming impossible circumstances to build healthy, promising futures on our website to show what an impact 
support like this makes.

 

Eye   Associates  Gerald and Alice Rubin Memorial Foundation Fund of
The FUNd of   
Albuquerque Academy
 
Before schools closed, students in the 8th grade Community Service Club held a bake sale fundraiser to benefit Saranam.
How the 2020 CARES Act Affects You.
Did you know that the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief,  and Economic Security CARES(CARES) Act  changed the charitable  contribution tax code? 

The CARES Act allows for an above-the-line deduction (no itemization necessary) up to $300 per taxpayer ($600 for a married couple) for charitable gifts made in 2020 and claimed on taxes in 2021. This means that  a gift to Saranam will lower your tax bill without adding paperwork. Win-win.

In addition, if you do itemize your deductions,  you can now deduct more of your contribution. The CARES Act increases the cap on  charitable contributions from 60% of adjusted gross income to 100%. 

Talk to your accountant to find out what works best for you.

We hope that these measures help your family and make it easier for us to help others weather this storm. It will take us all working together to ensure everybody has an equal opportunity to cope and recover.
ICYMI: In case you missed it, here is 
what happened  this month. 

 
Saranam mother overcame struggles to serve her community as a nurse. 
Share the love!  
We're always happy to have new community members. 
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Saranam | 505-299-6154 | http://saranamabq.org

JMML