ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Central New Mexico Community College’s Props and Film Resource warehouse thought part of their extensive costume section could be put to better use and a local non-profit started passing out the big clothing donation right away.
“We were running short on supply and they gave us 76 boxes of assorted clothing. hoodies, jackets, jeans, sweaters, t-shirts, pants just tons and tons of boxes. I was amazed they just kept coming in I was like, you know, really thankful,” said Merlinda Aragon, who works for the Homeless Opportunity Programs at First Nations Community Healthsource.
First Nations Community Healthsource is a non-profit and health clinic that’s been serving people in Albuquerque since the ’70s. They also do street outreach to help homeless people. “Definitely, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact and we’ve had an influx of community members who want to access our services because they can’t access services elsewhere or that they definitely need services because of becoming homeless or other situations that have been brought upon them due to COVID,” said Linda Stone, the CEO of First Nations Community Healthsource.
The increase in demand was causing a shortage at their clothing bank, which relies on donations. Luckily, it was around that time they got a call from CNM’s Props and Film Resource warehouse. “We thought, well, rather than having it sit, what can we do with it? So, we started thinking of different places to place it,” said Mark Duran, manager of the warehouse.
Duran says the warehouse had received a lot of clothes used in the movie, Sicario, which was shot in Albuquerque. While they were thankful for the donation, Duran didn’t know if they’d actually get rented out by another production.
“Because it’s basic streetwear and, in fact, a lot of the pieces still had the thrift store sales tag on it, I started talking with our director and said really if a production is going to require this kind of wardrobe for their story, they’re probably just going to go straight to a thrift store and those other resources,” said Duran.
The team decided to donate all of the clothes that comprised of items for men, women, and children. Through a chain of events, they found First Nations and donated it all to them. “It was really great. People were smiling. I think it was almost a surprise to them how much we were able to supply them with a single donation,” said Duran.
“We got a lot of pants, jackets, sweats. We’re always in need of men’s clothing. Most of our population is men,” said Aragon.
Once they got the 76-box donation, they were able to start helping their clients right away. “Just a few days ago, I was helping two clients and they didn’t have any jackets, as Melinda was saying it’s a really cold time of the year, so I went and basically there were two hooded jackets we gave to the clients and they were really appreciative and said they didn’t have any clothes,” said Stone. She says while this donation was great, they are still looking for more winter clothes as well as non-perishable food.
As for CNM’s prop house, Duran says business is picking up again and they’re expecting a banner year. “Everybody’s predicting this is going to be kind of like a tsunami of work because there’s so many different venues for content now that everybody is looking for fresh content,” said Duran.
Duran says he’s recently received calls from TV show productions like Roswell and Better Call Saul, hoping to reserve props. For more information on First Nations Community Healthsource, visit fnch.org/.