Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Heidi’s Helping Hands welcomes community to neighborhood events

LAS CRUCES – Some people might know about Heidi’s Helping Hands in Las Cruces, but many may not know about the nonprofit organization that a mother and daughter have cultivated from their Las Cruces home.

Heidi’s Helping Hands is an initiative started by Heidi Vacio-Teixeria, a 12-year-old girl with help from her mother, Angelica ‘AJ’ Vacio-Teixeria. For four years, their organization has hosted several community events throughout most holiday seasons — including Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Their biggest event is their “Donation Event,” which organizes members and volunteers in the community to give to those in need — from clothes, to food and any other household items they receive in donations.

The whole operation is run from the Vacio-Teixeria household on California Avenue. Angelica hopes that one day she can expand and get a building for things to be more accessible to the community, especially when HHH hosts their biggest event of the year, the donation event.

“Sometimes people ask me, ‘Why do you do this?’ and (they say) ‘Quit doing so much.’ And I’m just like, well it’s rewarding. Like, this is what I’m meant to do, you know. Heidi’s also been doing things like this since she was little, so we decided to start the group,” Angelica said.

Vendors and Easter activities at Heidi's Helping Hands Easter Event.  April 9, 2022.

“We started with 20 members, initially — for the longest time. And then after that, it kind of just blew up,” Angelica said. The Facebook group has reached almost 1.5k members, where members can post donation items to give to those who may need it.

Part of Heidi’s vision for HHH is how she wants to make a difference in her community by helping those in need, including animals.

“I wanted to start it because I wanted to help the animals and I wanted to help people who are in need and stuff,” Heidi said. “Some of my main big goals is not just helping people, but I want to help the animal shelters and animals that are in need.”

The newly certified nonprofit organization, on Heidi’s 12th birthday, presented their Easter event Saturday, April 9 — which provided several free vendors, food, games and activities, and Easter baskets for all kids ages 0-12, and candy bags for older teens.

Heidi was happy with the turnout of volunteers and all the help she gets to keep her organization going.

“It makes me happy that a lot of people want to help with it too, and they agree that it’s good to help other people, too,” Heidi said.

Line outside Heidi's Helping Hands Easter 2022 Event, April 9 2022.

Heidi’s Helping Hands recently got nominated in NMCO Studio’s effort recognizing “Local Heroines, Promoting Hope and Healing.” You can see Heidi and Angelica talking about what they do best: helping Las Cruces at https://nmcostudio.com/2022/04/08/local-heroines/.

Anyone wanting to help and donate can visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/245082972903799.

Cielo Rodriguez can be reached at [email protected]

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