Employees give back this summer

Volunteers help out three nonprofit organizations in the region

By David Moore | August 11, 2022

Khalsa Farms Opt
Volunteers at the nonprofit Khalsa Family Farms in Española. David Moore

The Laboratory’s employees stepped up in June and July, volunteering for special LANL sessions with a range of nonprofits in Santa Fe and Española.

Friday and Saturday June 24 and 25 saw 20 handy volunteers assemble on the south side of Santa Fe, helping with a Habitat for Humanity build for a young family. Some employees insulated and dry-walled a new shed on the property while others cut and installed drywall in the main house. The high-efficiency house is designed to produce more energy from its solar panels than it will use over the course of a year, meaning the new owners will have no utility bills.

Habitat Santa Fe
Laboratory volunteers at the Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity project.

On July 15, San Martin de Porres Soup Kitchen in Española hosted six employees, who helped prepare meals for people facing food insecurity. The Soup Kitchen serves a hot lunch to an average of 50-100 patrons per day and provides weekly food baskets to other needy families in Northern New Mexico who are referred by a church group or state agency.

The following Friday, 20 green-thumbed Laboratory volunteers helped out at nonprofit Khalsa Family Farms, removing weeds from around the growing organic vegetables. Every year the farm gives over 1000 pounds of produce to community outreach projects in Española, Chimayo and Taos.

All the volunteer events were organized by the Lab’s Community Partnerships Office (CPO), in partnership with the nonprofits.

“The Laboratory community is very generous with its volunteer time and monetary donations to nonprofits. For example, last year employees donated $2.7 million through the Employee Giving Campaign,” says Kayla Norris, drives and volunteer coordinator at CPO.  “But there’s something particularly valuable for organizations and volunteers to have a group working together in person to make a positive difference.”