Giving Back

xmasSotheby’s forgoes holiday party, gives funds to needy

Reprinted from The New Mexican 11/22/2008

Realty firm divvies up $15,000 among nonprofits, school

In keeping with the spirit of the season and the worsening economy, agents at Sotheby’s International Realty in Santa Fe are turning the money they receive for a holiday party over to the less fortunate.

The Santas at the realty office asked the Santa Fe Community Foundation to help them decide how to divvy up the $15,000 they would normally would spend on food, entertainment and Christmas cheer.

The largest share — $5,000 — will go to The Santa Fe New Mexican’s Empty Stocking Fund, which helps people with one-time needs during the holiday season. Other recipients include La Familia Medical Center; the Food Depot; the Santa Fe Community Foundation; and Larragoite Elementary School. Each of those organizations will receive $2,500.

In place of the fancy holiday event, Sotheby’s agents will have a potluck at the home of a colleague.

The donation to Larragoite Elementary School will help pay for warm winter clothes, supplies, and gas and food vouchers for families.

“We have great needs,” said Principal Ellen Perez. “We have children that go without quite a bit, things other students take for granted.” And, she added, “we can make money stretch. We’re good.”

Perez said she will work with the school counselor to identify students and families in need of assistance. She said she’s had mothers say that with $25, they can feed their families five meals.

Good nutrition and warm clothes are essential if children are to come to school prepared to learn. But, she said, some families at Larragoite can no longer afford rent or gasoline to drive the children to school.

Among those who will benefit from the Sotheby’s gift are some families in which a breadwinner is struggling with cancer. “We want to make sure (those children) have everything they need for the holidays so they can just be students. That’s our goal,” Perez said.