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August 31, 2020
Dear friend,
Welcoming new families to Saranam!

We are just bubbling with excitement! This time of year at Saranam is always our busiest- new apartments, new classes and new families fill up our time.

As busy as this season is, as we look over our work this summer, the real story is what didn't happen. 

Families didn't lose their homes. The job market is incredibly precarious for low-wage earners, who have experienced unemployment rates twice that of their peers. Insecure incomes have put them at high risk of eviction. Not here. Our families remained safe and all of our second year families exited into stable, safe housing. 

Families didn't have to choose between essential needs.Thanks to you we were able to continue to meet all of our families' monthly supply needs. Contact-free delivery of these items has continued and stocked apartments brought tears to new families who haven't seen many of these items for a while. 

Nobody got sick. Our work continued remotely and families remained sheltered in place. And thanks to donations of masks and cleaning supplies, they were able to do their essential business safely as well. 

Families didn't fall behind. Too many adults across the country have had to abandon their educational dreams during this crisis and low-income children are at the highest risk of falling behind. That's why when schools shut down, we went to work. We helped families smooth the bumpy transition to online learning by providing tutoring, support and fun activity kits. Read more about their success.

The opening of apartments didn't get delayed. Our decorating team worked overtime to prepare apartments because families can't wait.  It is a HUGE undertaking even under normal circumstances, but this year presented more challenges than usual. But they did it and we showcased their work in our annual Open House.

We didn't have to compromise the number of families we serve. We welcomed the maximum number we could- 10 new families- into our program this month, including 21 children!

These families are eager to begin the program and they are motivated.

"I am not only open to change, but I am willing to do everything it takes to embrace 
a new way of living to end this unhealthy cycle."

It truly is remarkable that together, we made sure that families who were once homeless now have secure homes to begin the next chapter of their lives. 
Let's Get Virtual, Virtual
HomeHome Sweet Home

Where there is a will, there is a way!

Decorating groups didn't let the challenges of COVID get them down. They pulled together and spent hundreds of hours planning and putting together homes. 

The result? 10 STUNNING apartments welcomed families this month (including one with 5 kids!).  

As always, the decorators went above and beyond and made sure each apartment had essentials like baby supplies, fridges stocked with casseroles, and school supplies to make sure families are ready to start successfully. 

We shared the apartments in a virtual open house that is now ALL on our website for you to peruse. 

A HUGE thank you to all who contributed to this Herculean effort, including: 

Sue and Dave Campbellvolunteers who donated vacuums to each family
Sandia National Labswho donated microwaves to each apartment
Ginger K.a volunteer who donated over 50 blankets to apartments!
Lobo Movingwho professionally and efficiently moved furniture from the warehouse to apartments (and at a discount!)
Susan Birdsonga local artist who donated original watercolor paintings for each home.
Community groupswho made and delivered casseroles to families' freezers. 
Decorator groupstheir names and members are listed on our "open house" page on our website

And many, many more!  We couldn't do it without you!
onlineSmoothing the Road to Online Learning

The question on everyone's mind these days seems to be: how are online classes going to work? 

We have been working hard all summer to make sure learning continues as seamlessly as possible.


Our second year parents also got to pioneer our first venture into online lectures in our summer Employability Skills class. It went great! They were able to learn practical skills about job searches, resume building and interview skills.

Going forward, we will utilize Google Classrooms to integrate pre-recorded lectures with live classes so families can balance their coursework with helping their children with their school schedules. 


Kids didn't take a break from learning this summer either. They met online often to do fun activities like: 

Saranam's annual reading contest
Exploring DNA
Make your own pizza
Writing a collaborative story

We continue to be amazed at the adaptability of our families. We know that these changes will help build extraordinary resiliency to meet any of life's challenges. 
When the going gets tough...
When the going gets tough, we have a great community to keep us going. 

We have been so lucky to receive grants from some truly phenomenal organizations this summer

With our families, we want to say "thank you" for their commitment to invest in building a strong, resilient, thriving community. 


  
Funding will support Saranam's programs with the goal 
of improving the quality of life
and i
ncreasing opportunity for all families in our community.

Grant will support 
Saranam's mission to end family homelessness through housing, education and supportive communities.

S
aranam received a 2020 Vision Grant to increase access to affordable housing for families experiencing homelessness. 

Funding will be used to support transitional housing and children's programming for Saranam's families. 
  This grant will help children and families meet basic needs and improve their education through Saranam's integrated programming. 
A quick thank you to everyone who nominated (or attempted to nominate) us for State Farm's 
$25,000 Neighborhood Assistance grant. 

The application slots filled up quickly, but we managed to get at least TWO nominations in. We will keep you updated on our progress through the process. 
 Community Corner 
Day of Caring

We were thrilled to be a stop in  United Way of Central New Mexico's Day of Caring Scavenger Hunt this month. 

Over 50 intrepid hunters followed clues to our location and took time to learn about Saranam, write letters of encouragement, and donate needed supplies for the children in our program.

We are so thankful for UWCNM's partnership and are eagerly looking forward to next year's event!

Still Close, Even When We're Far Away

We are so grateful for everyone who has asked us how they can continue to help from home. 

Especially as we welcome our new cohort, we want to be sure our families are engaged with our wonderful community. 

So, we have updated our volunteer website with loads of remote volunteer opportunities so you can continue to connect.

Check it out and "check in" with us today!
Mission: Families


One of the most powerful collaborations being done in our community is through United Way of Central New Mexico. 

Three of Saranam's best were featured in UWCNM's annual report for their work on Mission: Families. This important project focuses on increasing family stability through resiliency. 

We're proud to work together to improve the long-term vitality of our community. 
 
Follow us on social media so you never miss a thing.
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Support our families today. 

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Contact Dianne Campbell at:
saranam.dianne@gmail.com or (505) 934-9110

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Saranam | 505-299-6154 | http://saranamabq.org

JMML