Center of Southwest Culture
At the beginning of the fires, volunteer Antonia Roybal-Mack approached the Center of Southwest Culture to fiscally sponsor on-the-ground wildfire relief assistance in her hometown of Mora. As Antonia began hauling supplies and speaking with impacted individuals, the list of needs began to grow. Soon she was finding ways to get hotel rooms and holding daily zoom calls with elected officials, other volunteer organizations and anyone who wanted to join.
These efforts helped to get information out and questions answered as she used her networking and advocacy skills to help thousands. Donated funds were able to help with gas cards, gift cards and food. Through it all, Antonia was able to try and find existing resources and help so the funds could be used where there were gaps.
As communities are repopulated, the needs are shifting. The Center of Southwest Culture is still providing some hotel rooms, as the ones the red cross are providing are in Albuquerque. There are still people who are displaced because of damaged homes, destroyed homes, no water, no electricity, or medical reasons and who cannot stay in Albuquerque due to jobs or other responsibilities here.
Antonia is now looking at how to purchase refrigerators for those that were too far gone to clean out, help restock fresh and frozen food supplies, replace propane tanks, and making sure senior citizens get help to clean up smoke damage and burned debris. Antonia's family ranch has been burned as well. She has stepped up every day throughout this fire because her father had this quote on his door:
"Everybody is going to expect somebody to do it, so nobody will do it."
The Santa Fe Community Foundation invited its Community Resiliency Fund nonprofit grantees to submit stories related to their wildfire relief efforts.