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Landrum part of the Assurance Home family

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In her role as community relations coordinator for Assurance Home, Gale Landrum helps build community awareness of the organization, which provides assistance to the area’s at-risk youth. (Submitted Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Gale Landrum, community relations coordinator for Assurance Home and James Ranch, although not a native of Roswell, is a cheerleader for the community.

She said she’s grateful to be a member of a well-known organization that works to help people in the area.

“Moving to Roswell was inevitable for my husband Aaron and I, as my father and mother retired here 27 years ago,” Landrum said. “I knew after only a couple of visits that once Aaron retired from his career in the United States Coast Guard, we would also definitely call Roswell our home.

“Not only do we love the small-town feel, but the warmth and kindness of the people we encountered here while on our visits made us feel so incredibly welcome,” she said.

Landrum and her husband’s move took place in August 2003. She immediately took on a professional position as administrative director of a child development center. That job was responsible for how she became affiliated with the Assurance Home — the group and shelter home the community supports for at-risk teens.

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As Landrum remembers, “The first time I had the chance to visit the home, it was an overwhelming experience for me. The beauty of the property, the kindness of the staff, and the love and devotion shown to the children was so evident. As I left that day, I thought to myself, ‘one day I want to be a part of that family.’”

In July 2015, the opportunity to do just that opened up.

“My husband told me that Assurance Home was looking for a child care provider to work directly with the teens. I had retired two years earlier to take care of my father who was struggling with his health,” Landrum said. “After he went with God, the prospect of having something to do that would be so meaningful to me at the place I had dreamed of being a part of felt like an amazing opportunity.”

She was offered a position and began her new adventure.

“I worked directly with other staff in the care of the teens living at the home,” Landrum said. “Everything from driving them to school to helping them do their chores, I have always made sure they knew they were safe and loved.”

Landrum said her passion for the work was rewarded when she was asked to take on the role of community relations coordinator.

“I was thrilled to accept the opportunity, and I love being able to share my enthusiasm for this great place located on 18th Street,” Landrum said. “I love going to different civic organizations throughout southeast New Mexico and speaking on their behalf. Getting awareness out to the community of the strong need for such a home that has consistently helped the neglected, abused, homeless and at-risk teens is very important to me.”

Landrum noted the difficulties the organization has faced during the pandemic.

“It has been hard for all groups to gather in any way during this time — whether with your immediate family, your Church family, your friends and family who live elsewhere, it’s all difficult,” she said. “We’ve all made sacrifices to stay safe, but for the children at the home, it has been even more difficult as quarantine had to be severe at times. This meant no vacations, no movie trips, no shopping … but, harder still, no visitors to the home were allowed. Because of this, we all have grown to depend on each other, keep each other motivated, and stay strong.”

Landrum also spoke about the goals of the home, praising its mission to educate teens so they may learn how to have meaningful relationships with others, overcome their difficulties, and eventually help them transition successfully into family environments.

“There’s no greater reward than that call or text from one who has left the home and started their own new way in the world, offering a ‘thank you’ or telling me how much I and other staff members have impacted their life,” she said.

Assurance Home also runs its own thrift shop at 916 E. McGaffey St., which is managed by Landrum and two volunteers.

“This great shop has become quite the hub for some fun shopping; it offers the chance to run into a close friend, make a new friend, and gives the community a chance to help the kids who reside at the home, with 100% of the proceeds going directly back to the Assurance Home,” she said. She thanked community members for being generous and said social distancing and wearing masks are practiced at the shop.

The organization is gearing up for the fourth annual Adult & Youth Supporting Youth Golf Tournament taking place Oct. 23 at the New Mexico Military Institute Golf Course.

Landrum said she encourages teens to participate, put together a team, play with a family member, or even be placed on a team with other golfers out to enjoy the day.

“For the last three years, we’ve had an anonymous sponsor for the teens so they can come and play, win prizes and get fed very well,” she said. “All of our other sponsors in the past have also been amazing, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the continued backing of this tournament.”

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Amy Lignor Special to the Daily Record