Julia M. Dendinger | News-Bulletin photo
Adelante President/CEO Rebecca Sanford and Adelante Bargain Square thrift store manager Jessica Lucero speak with U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell during her recent visit to the local thrift store.
LOS CHAVEZ — During the August recess of Congress, U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell (CD-2) visited the Adelante Bargain Square thrift store, just north of Belen, on Wednesday, Aug. 10.
According to a recent press release, Herrell’s Washington, D.C., office has hosted several meetings with Adelante’s team and the congresswoman wanted to take the opportunity to see some of Adelante’s work in action during her time in the district.
“It is vital that we care for our most vulnerable neighbors, and I applaud Adelante for helping to build communities of kindness” said Herrell in the release. “My team values the work of nonprofits across New Mexico and always appreciate the opportunity to learn about and share resources with our constituents.”
Adelante is a nonprofit organization that supports people with disabilities, seniors and disadvantaged populations by providing residential and day programs, employment services and a wide variety of community resources.
During Herrell’s visit, Adelante president and CEO Rebecca Sanford and Bargain Square manager Jessica Lucero shared information about the organization’s current projects, details about how the local thrift store benefits not only Adelante’s clients but the community as a whole, and talked with Herrell about how national legislation could impact the people Adelante supports throughout New Mexico.
Legislation Herrell is working on that could directly effect Adelante’s clients includes H.R. 5928, which would make it easier for disabled veterans to obtain a service dog, and H.R. 3802 which permanently extends the authority of the Veterans Administration to make grants for the transportation of rural veterans to health care facilities.
Adelante has helped to train service dogs and currently provides transportation and meal services for seniors in Dona Ana County, making the proposed legislation very pertinent to the nonprofit.
Herrell also supported the PUMP Act which would temporarily suspend the federal gas tax. This impacts not only Adelante’s fleet of more than 100 transport vans and business trucks, but also the nonprofit’s clients who are experiencing high energy prices.
Herrell has supported the Gigabit Opportunity Act to increase investment in broadband coverage for rural and under-served communities, and urged New Mexico’s Attorney General to partner with the Federal Communications Commission to fight scams, which disproportionately target and hurt seniors.
These efforts align with Adelante’s work addressing the digital divide through its DiverseIT program and also the free computer classes the nonprofit has offered seniors to help them spot and avoid scams, according to the press release.
Herrell also co-sponsored House Resolution 159, showing appreciation and support for essential employees with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of Adelante’s employees have been essential workers at Kirtland Air Force Base, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and federal contracts across New Mexico, so Adelante is grateful for this recognition, the same press released said.
To learn more about Adelante’s work, visit GoAdelante.org.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.