Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

The Las Cruces AARP chapter delivers books, tablets, blankets, and love to the residents of the veterans home

By Mike Cook

By Mike Cook

Las Cruces bulletin

A three-vehicle caravan of AARP Chapter 1230 members from Las Cruces arrived at the New Mexico Veterans’ Home in Truth or Consequences with hundreds of books, along with computer tablets, lap blankets, candies and more for the 77 residents of the home, Louise said Tracey-Hosa, Vice President of the AARP Chapter.

The chapter had identified the Veterans Home as a project for its membership in 2019, but the pandemic delayed efforts for more than a year, said Tracey-Hosa, who has been a AARP member for six years and is a past vice president of the chapter 5 years. She is also the Chapter Team Leader for the Western Region of AARP. Chapter 1230 President Dave Lynch was recently named AARP State Chairman.

Chapter 1230 member Eileen Rosenblatt, chair of the chapter’s Veterans Home Committee, spoke to former interim administrator of the home, Garrick Wheeler, to identify the needs of the 64 men and 13 women in the residence, Tracey-Hosa said.

One of the biggest needs Wheeler identified was paperbacks that veteran home residents could keep in their rooms, particularly Western-themed novels by Zane Gray and Louis Lamour and romance novels, she said.

Rosenblatt and members of her committee began looking for books and soon discovered that senior amigos from Las Cruces were closing their library for space constraints and donating all of their books to the veteran’s home. Rosenblatt also received a donation of 100 books from COAS Books, and Mary Ann Lufkin accepted 162 books donated by Good Samaritan Village and 16 books from AARP member Laura Stanovich.

In addition to the books, small tablets, lap blankets (for residents in wheelchairs) and sweets were also distributed. Chapter member Honey Devins oversaw the writing of personal letters to the home residents, Tracey-Hosa said.

Everything was collected and 11 volunteers gathered to pack the gifts in individual AARP bags and prepare them for delivery to T or C.

Bags were shipped outside of the home to protect residents’ health, Tracey-Hosa said. AARP members stayed in T or C for an hour talking to the veteran’s home residents. They also visited the nearby Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park and the Hamilton Military Museum.

“I loved that Eileen organized the event, brought a team of people here to visit the residents, bring treats for them and the staff,” said Karen L. Thompson, director of the home’s administrative coordinator.

Comments are closed.