As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, learning to give back to and be part of the community is key to our participants’ success. Our team at the New Mexico Women’s Recovery Academy (NMWRA), a residential reentry center in Albuquerque, recognizes the role volunteerism plays in reintegrating our participants into their communities, which is why they encouraged residents to serve local homeless people a Christmas dinner this past holiday season.
On Dec. 20, counselor Renee Mollineda accompanied 10 NMWRA residents to serve a holiday meal to individuals in need at the Joy Junction, a local homeless advocacy group that provides food and shelter. Residents wore Christmas hats and cheerfully served Albuquerque’s homeless population a delicious Christmas dinner and dessert. During the meal, the women sang Christmas carols to lift everyone’s spirits.
Albuquerque’s Mayor Tim Keller was there as well! After the residents served those at the shelter, Joy Junction invited them to enjoy in the meal. Mayor Keller took this opportunity to approach the volunteers and extend a sincere thank you to the NMWRA residents. When the residents were told the person thanking them was the mayor, they were thrilled and suggested a photo. Mayor Keller was most gracious in accommodating the request, making the evening extra special for the residents.
“Thanks to our staff and residents at the New Mexico residential reentry facilities who maintain a great record of community service,” said Senior Area Manager Gary Hetzel. “It is rewarding to see our residents exhibit a sense of pride in giving back to the community, and it is an important component of the reentry treatment we provide.”
To read about GEO Reentry’s residential reentry programming in general, click here.