ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Wings for Life International yard sale concluded its run on Saturday but is still accepting donations to keep the organization running. Executive Director and Founder Ann Edenfield Sweet said the nonprofit hasn’t had the chance to fundraise in two years because of the pandemic but has been collecting donations during that time. “Every dollar spent here will be put back into the community tenfold,” Sweet said.
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The organization aims to break the generational cycle of incarceration by supporting the families of prisoners. This weekend and last, the group had set up shop inside Calvary Chapel Eastside’s gymnasium for the sale. Sweet said at the end of their fundraiser, they will donate the remaining items to other local nonprofits.
All around Albuquerque, the city’s animal shelters kicked off their Empty the Shelter event. Pet adoption fees are being waived until July 3 in order to help clear out the shelters in preparation for the usual rise in intake that comes during the summer.
The volunteer coordinator with the city’s Eastside shelter, Crystal Torres, said there was already a line of people waiting to get in the shelter before it even opened. “The community has been amazing for us. We saw a lot of this last year when they stepped up for us for our foster program. And now that we’re trying to find these guys permanent homes, they’re definitely here and ready to find their forever friends and we’re ready to get them situated,” Torres said.
The Eastside Shelter, the Westside Shelter, and the Everyday Adoption Center in PetSmart are offering the waived fees in addition to a free nail trimming coupon from Groomingdales Pet Spa and one free training session for dogs. Each adoption will include a spay or neuter, a microchip, required vaccinations, and one free initial vet visit.
As Albuquerque’s Juneteenth celebration entered its second day at Civic Plaza, many attendees said the recent announcement from the governor about the state reopening gave them mixed feelings. “I’m a little bit nervous, just because we’ve been struggling with the coronavirus for a long time and I just don’t want things to start going downhill again,” said one attendee. “But I’m also excited that it feels like we’re kind of beating the pandemic and we’re moving on. It’s really exciting because I love being out here for Juneteenth celebrating my heritage and just being with the community.”
Another attendee shared similar sentiments of worry but also excitement. “I’m excited, but I know we still have to be careful though. Even though we’re still open and things are opening up, we still have to be careful because COVID-19 has not left us yet,” she said. “I think it’s awesome because we’re celebrating our independence and the independence of coming out of what we call a pandemic. It’s wonderful to see it coincide together, what an awesome day that could be today.”