Las Crucen honored as Volunteer of the Year for service with the Salvation Army

LAS CRUCES — Janice Haley has volunteered with the Salvation Army’s Las Cruces Corps for seven years and oversees the organization’s pantry.

Haley and her son Kenneth volunteer three days a week sorting, packing and distributing boxes of groceries to those in need.

“I’m just doing it because I care,” Haley said. “They need help and people need it and I happen to have the free time.”

Haley was recognized as the Gerald H. Deabel 2022 Volunteer of the Year at the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Kickoff Dinner on Thursday, November 17. The Salvation Army, Mesilla Valley Hospice, and the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico are represented on Gerald H. Deabel’s organizing board. The Deabel Volunteer of the Year award rotates annually among the three nonprofit organizations.

Janice Haley will receive the Gerald Deabel Volunteer of the Year Award, endowed with $20,000, during the Salvation Army Red Kettle Dinner on Thursday, November 17, 2022 at the Hotel Encanto.

Noel Evans of the Salvation Army’s Las Cruces Corps explained that Haley was presented with a plaque and a $20,000 prize by the foundation.

“(Deabel) wanted to have a wow factor with this award as well. So the winner gets $20,000,” she said. “He wanted to encourage people to volunteer. To give their time and talent.”

Haley oversees the Salvation Army’s pantry and figures out how to divide the non-perishable groceries into 65 boxes each week. Originally from Georgia, she moved to the Las Cruces area for her husband’s work at the White Sands Missile Range. Johnny Haley has since passed away.

Janice Haley will receive the Gerald Deabel Volunteer of the Year Award, endowed with $20,000, during the Salvation Army Red Kettle Dinner on Thursday, November 17, 2022 at the Hotel Encanto.

She said she has more time now and is volunteering because she is needed.

“She’s amazing,” Evans said of Haley. “(She and her son) are staying until it’s all done – willingly, willingly, with love and a desire to make this community a better place. To me that is a hero…. We need more Janices in this world.”

Angel Tree of the Salvation Army

This season, people have an opportunity to give back to their community with the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree serving the entire Doña Ana County. The program allows families who are struggling financially to identify toys or clothing that their children would like. Signs with information about each child are located on the Angel Tree at Mesilla Valley Mall. People are encouraged to take a label and buy as much as possible for the child. The organization will fill what is left.

Evans said over 300 families have signed up for the Angel Tree.

This year the donations will be sorted and distributed from the shopping center. The Salvation Army has already taken over the empty space left by Victoria’s Secret. The distribution will take place from December 19th to 23rd.

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