ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It was three days before Christmas and blowing a gale, when through the snow flurries came seven squad cars all laden with gifts.
There were blankets and jackets for old and for young, there was clothing and shoes of all shapes and all sizes.
And Sgt. Victor Jojola bringing good cheer to all at Joy Junction.
Jojola and his team from Albuquerque Police Department’s Southwest Area Command delivered 123 blankets, 60 coats and 11 bags of clothing and shoes to the South Valley emergency shelter Thursday afternoon.
The items were donated by local organizations, churches, businesses and people in the community.
Joy Junction, located on Second Street south of Rio Bravo, provides food, clothing and shelter to men, women, children and families.
It houses 300 to 325 people each night. Staffers say the holidays are always the busiest time.
Blankets and coats are especially welcome during the cold weather, Joy Junction’s Assistant Volunteer Coordinator Kelley Stoker said.
Staffers will distributed them to homeless people who haven’t been able to get shelter.
They travel throughout the metro area looking for people camped out on the streets or on the West Mesa who need help. Stoker said the number of families seeking help has increased since the economy soured.
“We have vans that are out there 24 hours a day,” she said.
Joy Junction does not receive any federal, state or local government funding and depends on donations, according to its website www.joyjunction.org.
This is the second year APD’s Southwest Area Command has collected donations for Joy Junction.
“We had an overwhelming response,” Jojola said.
— This article appeared on page C02 of the Albuquerque Journal