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Spreading the word: United Way ‘scavenger hunt’ helps families learn about nonprofits

United Way of Central New Mexico is hosting its first Day of Caring Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, Aug. 22.

Organizations around New Mexico spend months planning annual events.

When the pandemic hit, it forced all of them to either cancel or reimagine them.

Enter United Way of Central New Mexico.

Staff worked for months to create the Day of Caring Scavenger Hunt, on Saturday, Aug. 22.

“The day will provide families a safe and socially distanced opportunity to learn more about the work of nonprofits in our community, while also enjoying some creative activities and volunteer opportunities as they visit areas of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho,” says Jeanette Brahl, chief marketing officer at United Way of Central New Mexico. “It’s really in response to the pandemic and the need to be safe.”

Brahl says 11 organizations will be represented in Albuquerque and three in Rio Rancho.

She says a number of health and human service agencies will host activities that range from the artistic, such as making a mask, to volunteering on a small project, such as writing encouraging notes for an agency’s clients, to “just for fun,” such as a bingo game.

Several organizations will be accepting donations, including canned goods, art supplies for young adults, school supplies and children’s underwear. Participants will be entered into a prize drawing for sharing their experiences on social media.

Brahl says participants can register individually or in a group (of no more than five). Face masks will be provided, and safety and cleaning procedures will be in place. Participants will be directed to a location to start their experience, where a packet of information will be delivered safely to their car. They may choose the area of town they prefer when they register, including Rio Rancho.

The event begins at 10 a.m. and runs through 1 p.m., although not all participants will require the entire time to complete their visits.

Cost is $15 per person or $50 for a group of five. Registration is at uwcnm.org.

“We were ready to pivot and do something online,” she says. “Our staff will be on hand to make sure that we are helping with the cleaning. We want to provide a pleasant experience for families.”

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