University of New Mexico medical student Cody Moezzi always wanted to give back to his hometown.
Moezzi graduated from Alamogordo High School in 2016 and started medical school at the University of New Mexico in 2020.
Moezzi was in Alamogordo on Dec. 31 to distribute 45,000 KN95 masks to high-risk medical organizations through ProtectNM.
Mask drop-off locations included the Good Samaritan Society-Betty Dare and the Aristocrat Assisted Living Community, as well as the La Luz Fire Department and Alamogordo Police Department.
“I am very fortunate to have the tools and connections from ProtectNM, UNM Medical School and from the large city of Albuquerque, which have made this donation possible,” Moezzi said.
“Growing up here in Alamogordo and completing all my education up till college, then having the opportunity to come back to give back to my community that shaped me is something I envisioned before I left. I am glad to be a part of the fight in the pandemic,” he said.
ProtectNM was started in March 2020 by UNM medical students.
Moezzi and fellow UNM medical student Remy Link joined ProtectNM when they started medical school in the fall 2020 semester. Link helped Moezzi deliver the masks.
“(ProtectNM) does triage and distributes PPE – personal protective equipment – to areas in need across New Mexico,” Link said.
The Dec. 31 trip to Alamogordo, although not the first, was the largest, Moezzi said.
The pair has delivered PPE to other communities throughout the state; they dropped off between 13 and 15 gallons of hand sanitizer in Gallup and Albuquerque.
ProtectNM decided to do a mask delivery in Alamogordo because the city has not received as many mask donations as the northern part of the state has, Moezzi said.
“Being able to come down here to the town I grew up in and give masks back to Alamogordo is a big deal to me,” Moezzi said. “It’s pretty nice, you know, going up to Albuquerque, and having the opportunities and resources to come back and do this kind of thing is special.”