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Las Cruces church helps Afghans arriving in New Mexico after fleeing Taliban

El Calvario Methodist Church in Las Cruces.{ }{p}{/p}
El Calvario Methodist Church in Las Cruces.

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As thousands of Afghan refugees step foot into New Mexico, a Las Cruces church is answering the call for help.

For decades El Calvario Methodist Church located at 316 N. Campo Street has helped migrants coming from the southern border, now they’re ready to take on a new task, which is help Afghan refugees resettle in New Mexico.

George Miller is the executive director and pastor of El Calvario Methodist Church.

El Calvario has always been a place that welcomes a stranger, helps the people in need, so when people land on our doorstep, we’re always there- Miller said.

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His teams goal, is to be the lighthouse in someone else’s storm.

“Right now we’re collecting emergency supply items, clothing, hygiene kits and things like that here at the church and we’re distributing them either to Holloman or Fort Bliss,” Miller said.

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Below is a current list of items needed:

Clothing- All sizes in long skirts and women’s long pants, men’s long sleeve shirts, t-shirts, men’s long pants, Hijabs, children’s and infant clothing, light jackets/windbreakers, new undergarments for women, males and children.

Footwear- All sizes in shower slip on’s, sandals, some shoes or boots but sandals are preferred.

Other- Hair brushes, nail clippers, tote bags, gym bags, small toys for kids.

The donations can be dropped off at El Calvario Methodist Church every Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. New items are preferred, but if used, the church asks that you clean before donating.

The church is also calling all local farmers who want to help.

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“We want to make these people from Afghanistan feel welcomed, so what brings our community together, food,” Nayeli Saenz, the assistant shelter manager at El Calvario Church said.

Saenz’ job is to freeze dry the vegetables and fruit local farmers donate.

“In a care pack we give them these healthy freeze dried snacks, they’re light weight, full of vitamins. I believe it gives them a little bit of dignity, cause that’s what we’re trying to do, build them up, give them dignity, give them the human respect that they deserve, so yes, it fills my heart,” Saenz said.

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It’s a team effort at El Calvario Methodist Church, so much so, Sam Amick came all the way from Atlanta.

“I was interested in helping out with refugees coming from the southern border and after I arrived here, the crisis in Afghanistan sort of blew up,” Amick said.

For the last several weeks, Amick has been Pastor Millers right hand man, helping with whatever he needs, including finding temporary housing in case the refugees need it.

“They’re still not certain if people will stay in Las Cruces, that remains to be seen, but in the meantime we’re making sure that we can find housing. We have a whole team of people to help support them if they do stay in this area,” Miller said.

Amick said he feels as if it’s his duty to make sure these people feel welcomed and not scared.

“I think it’s very important to show them that they’re welcomed, especially after they’ve gone through this really challenging process,” Amick said.

El Calvario Methodist Church is also looking for volunteers. If you’d like to give your time, you can contact Pastor George Miller at 575-524-1230.

You can also follow the church on Facebook for more updates.

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