Vecino, Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund – Part 2

Location: McKinley, New Mexico

In early April 2020, when COVID-19 started to harm our families and communities, the New Mexico Foundation (NMF) immediately began fundraising for the Vecino, Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund to help support relief efforts in New Mexico.

We are pleased that the Vecino, Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund has a strong impact in New Mexico communities and are proud to present part two of our four-part series featuring inspirational stories from nonprofit organizations that received grants.

We are grateful for support from individual donors, local and national foundations, and funders that enabled NMF to distribute 37 grants for a total of $162,034 to nonprofit organizations and tribes since May 26, 2020. These grants supported COVID-19 response and relief efforts including the distribution of the following: food, medical supplies, PPE and personal items; water; livestock feed; propane refills, diapers, and other community needs.
We wish to recognize and thank these wonderful organizations for the work they are doing to support families and communities in New Mexico during this challenging time.


Another Vecino grant recipient is Northwest New Mexico First Born , who is co-leading the  McKinley Mutual Aid along with another local nonprofit,  Indigenous Lifeways . They are an intertribal and interfaith collaboration of 5+ nonprofit organizations working together to fund-raise, source, package and deliver food and necessary supplies to community members most in need. Their prioritized outreach are to families living in uranium contaminated areas, elders and immune compromised individuals, survivors of violence, single parents, undocumented and unsheltered residents. To date, this group has served nearly 2,500 families in an equitable format, prioritizing “last mile” non-contact doorstep distribution to families within McKinley county, as well as other home visiting programs within San Juan County/Navajo Nation, and undocumented immigrant families residing in Aztec/Farmington (through Somos un Pueblo Unido ).

“We are so grateful to have received support from New Mexico Foundation. We are distributing 600+ boxes of food, water, and PPE weekly with 600 hygiene boxes.”

Photo credits: Mary Gaul, Northwest New Mexico First Born, Executive Director


A Vecino grant award from the New Mexico Foundation is supporting the work of Luciente, Inc .’s COVID-19 food-distribution program. An all-volunteer non-profit based in Abiquiu, NM, Luciente provides weekly delivery of groceries to 46 families in the Abiquiu, Youngsville, Coyote, and Gallina areas of northern Rio Arriba County. New Mexico Foundation’s Vecino funding supported the May 2020 distribution of 7.5 tons of groceries and supplies, provided by Help New Mexico, to 133 families in the Rio Chama Valley. Luciente works through the Abiquiu Elementary School, Head Start in Abiquiu, and Coronado High School in Gallina to identify and provide service to families in need.

Luciente has been serving the Rio Chama Valley region of northern Rio Arriba County since 1997 Luciente focuses on children in the Abiquiu, Youngsville, Coyote, and Gallina areas of Rio Arriba County, where the percentage of children ages 5-17 living in poverty is 29.3% (Espanola school district) and 49.4% (Jemez Mountains district). 

Photo credits: Wendy Dolci, President, Luciente, Inc.

For more information about the Vecino – Neighbors Helping Neighbors Fund click here

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