Española Teen Center Brings Holiday Cheer to Pajarito Housing Community

Santa brings gifts to the children of the Pajarito Housing Community Dec. 18. Courtesy photo
Youth from the Española Teen Center aboard their Christmas float. The float visited the Pajarito Housing Community Dec. 18 to distribute gfts to children and spread the joy of the season. Courtesy photo

Staff Report

Youth from the Española Teen Center warmed hearts at the Pajarito Housing Community Dec. 18. The “Warming Young Hearts” project raised funds to deliver some heartwarming gifts other than toys to the children of Pajarito Housing Community in Española.

Funds were raised by charging a $20 fee for each float entered in the Teen Center’s Harvest Youth Parade, now in its third year. The response was remarkable, Teen Center Director Ben Sandoval said.

“On the evening of Dec. 18, we loaded up 25 teens from our program, the gifts we secured and we paraded to the Pajarito Housing area with our Christmas float, complete with music to bring some holiday cheer to the children within that community,” Sandoval said.

The intent is to make this an annual event and the Teen Center intends to expand this endeavor next year to serve the three low income housing communities in the Española valley, he said.

“We feel that it is important to encourage our children to express the kindness of giving and thinking about others. We encourage this throughout the year also, not only during the holiday season, although we realize that for some children the gifts we deliver may be one of the only gifts they receive for Christmas,” Sandoval said. “I would also like to encourage other citizens within the community to support this project moving forward. Any contributions made will be to a great cause and will support the mission of the Española YMCA Teen Center in northern New Mexico.”

Editor’s note: The Española Teen Center is a joint project of the City of Espanola and the Los Alamos Family YMCA. The Teen Center opened in 2007 as a free service to the community, offering a safe and caring environment that promotes positive core values, self-discipline, builds self-esteem and teaches life skills essential to future success.