Home News Local News The Elks and Goodwill team up for veterans

The Elks and Goodwill team up for veterans

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Left, Alex Ross Photo Mary Espinoza Right, Submitted Photo Richard Anglada

When it comes to helping veterans, Mary Espinoza of Goodwill Industries of New Mexico and Richard Anglada of the Roswell Elks Club make a phenomenal team.

Anglada, the Roswell Elks Charity Golf chairperson, is in charge of putting together two popular golf tournaments that bring in much-needed funds.

The first is to benefit the Southeast New Mexico Veterans Transportation Network. This is a nonprofit organization made up of 22 volunteer drivers who drive veterans to their medical appointments in both Southeast New Mexico and West Texas. Being non-affiliated with the Veterans Administration, and receiving no funding from them, the annual golf tournament held by the Elks Club is always an extremely helpful resource for their cause.

The second annual tournament that brings in many golfers raises funds to support the New Mexico Wounded Warriors Project. The project provides veteran support services and programs to help in the biggest areas of need: spanning isolation, mental health, wellness, career and housing for both veterans and their families. It is a fact that generous contributions made by individuals, corporations — and money raised at events such as the golf tournament in Roswell — given to the Wounded Warriors Project, thus far, have helped over one million veterans.

Unfortunately, because of the current pandemic, the 12th annual Elks for Veterans Charity Golf Tournament that was originally scheduled for June 6 has been postponed and will be rescheduled.

It is hoped the 9th annual Roswell Elks supporting New Mexico Wounded Warriors Charity Golf Tournament will still be a “go” for Sept. 12 of this year.

Anglada’s devotion to the veterans, however, does not stop there.

“I’ve been working with different agencies to help homeless veterans for a long time. These include the Inlands Veterans Service Hospice, the VA Clinic and the Eastern Housing Authority.”

For those who are unaware, veterans and their families are well-provided for in Roswell when it comes to organizations, services and programs. From the VA Clinics designed to deliver primary care services to eligible veterans, to the affordable housing services for veterans and their families, Roswell makes sure to give back to those men and women who gave so much.

When it comes to the housing issue, there are many veterans who find themselves in need of a permanent housing situation. For this, Anglada works with Mary Espinoza, case manager for Goodwill Industries of New Mexico.

“Mary calls me when she’s looking for permanent housing for homeless veterans and needs to put them up in a hotel room for a few days, or a week,” Anglada said. “The Roswell Elks Lodge pays for their room until permanent housing is located by Mary, and all the great folks at Goodwill.”

Speaking with Espinoza in regard to her work as a case manager, she is highly appreciative of Goodwill, which began aiding others back in 1902.

“I am a new addition to this amazing organization,” Espinoza said. “I joined the team at the beginning of this year. As a Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) case manager for Goodwill Industries of New Mexico, my role is to provide rapid re-housing assistance to low-income veterans via any resources our program has available.

“I help our veterans get off the streets, refer them to food banks and/or find them a room in shelters,” she said. “In some instances, those locations may not have vacancies, and that is where our partnership with Richard Anglada from the Elks Lodge comes into play. Mr. Anglada has assisted with urgent housing options, such as hotel stays, until I can enroll the veterans into our program.”

Although Espinoza is a new member of Goodwill Industries of New Mexico, the Elks Lodge/Goodwill relationship is something she is happy to be a part of.

“Goodwill Industries has worked with the Elks for quite some time now,” she said. “I started working with Mr. Anglada as soon as he stepped into his current role, which was early this year. Our partnership and roles within our organizations are new to us both, but our particular team has been working extremely well due to the passion we both have for helping veterans and their families. I am fortunate to continue the good work of the SSVF, and honored to work with Mr. Anglada to get the resources these brave people need.”

When it comes to Goodwill Industries, Espinoza wishes everyone to know that their specific mission has been to provide skills training, job development and social services to New Mexicans.

“I have always had a desire to help others,” she continues, “and teaming up with Goodwill has been a rewarding experience on a daily basis.

“Resources and partnerships, such as the one with Richard Anglada and the Elks Lodge, are extremely important for many reasons; in particular, to continue assisting our veterans and families — and to make the community aware of such great resources that are available right here in Roswell.”