In the week leading up to the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, Urenco USA employees and contractors paid tribute in the company’s 11th Day of Service.
Projects in Andrews, Eunice and Hobbs kept more than 175 volunteers busy, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on several days last week.
“Due to Covid-19 preventative safety measures, the 11th annual 9/11 Day of Service was conducted differently this year,” according to a Urenco news release. “A larger focus was placed on enhancing public spaces within the community to allow for social distancing and the projects were accomplished in small groups over the course of a week.”
In Eunice, the volunteers cleaned a public cemetery while others conducted a trash pick-up in Andrews.
Two local non-profit agencies that serve Lea County received Urenco USA volunteer help in Hobbs. They were Cissy’s Food Ministry, an organization that provides nutritious foods to senior citizens in need, and Option, Inc, an organization that serves victims of domestic violence.
“What began with a handful of employees as a minor project in 2008 has evolved into the UUSA’s largest annual community service project. UUSA employees look forward to participating in the event each year,” UUSA’s President and CEO Karen Fili said.
“With the Covid-19 pandemic, the need is even greater this year to help our communities. I believe that we work here, we live here, and we give here,” Fili continued. “It was our goal to work on projects that will help to provide longterm benefits to the communities in which our employees live and impact a large number of people. Serving our communities and honoring those who gave their lives during the events on Sept. 11, 2001 continues to be our focus for this project.”
Cissy Diaz, who runs Cissy’s Food Ministries, toured her non-profit establishment at 1600 N. Dal Paso St. for the first time on Saturday after being kept away for three days while volunteers renovated much of the interior.
“When we started this project, we couldn’t even get into the back rooms. The boxes were stacked to the ceiling,” Fili told the News-Sun. “So, we bought her a storage building.” Volunteers sorted the boxes and contents in the storage building “so now she can bring them into the store so she can make money for the food ministry. “
Volunteers also helped to organize and update JD’s Thrift Store, which provides financial support for Cissy’s Food Ministry.
The emotional Diaz expressed appreciation both to God and to the UUSA volunteers.
“It’s really surreal,” Diaz said. “When they approached me, I thought, ‘Oh, there are other people more worthy.’ They kept telling me, ‘but the need is there and you are worthy.’”
At Options, Inc., the UUSA volunteers cleaned and renovated the playground, constructed a meditation patio and refurbished an office.
Sitting in the new patio area on Saturday, Options’ organizational director Robert Guthrie said, “We are thankful that these guys are doing this. The ladies like to have a place where they can meditate during their breaks, a quiet place. … They’re going to be drinking coffee here and I think we’re going to have some staff meetings here, too, especially with that thing back there (a new barbecue grill). I love to cook.”
Guthrie said plans are to convert the newly painted office into a virtual classroom so the organization can reach all five incorporated cities in the county instead of having to send trainers out to the communities.