NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) is joining the State Police and the Taxation and Revenue Department in a stuffed animal drive for the benefit of children involved in difficult situations.

New Mexico State Police kicked off the program to collect stuffed animals for children dealing with domestic violence in their homes. The animals can help children feel safer as law enforcement responds to domestic violence calls. Now, transportation officials are joining in.

“I have seen firsthand the benefit of a police officer handing a scared child a stuffed animal, [and] I would like to be a part of putting a smile on a child’s face at the scariest of times. Together we can make change,” Teresa Valdez from NMDOT Ports and Entry Division said in a press release.

Donation boxes are located at New Mexico ports of entry. There are also donation boxes at State Police offices and New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department locations. The community has until September 30 to donate small to medium-sized stuffed animals.