The board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern New Mexico is scheduled to meet today, and sources inside and outside of the agency indicate the board will vote on whether or not to merge operations with the Santa Fe branch. It is our hope the board will hold off on the vote for just a little longer.
We’ve been told our area’s organization has been struggling to make ends meet for a long time. There have been financial difficulties and problems retaining staff. It’s been a trying time for many good people who have taken on the responsibility of helping a lot of young people in need of guidance.
A merger with Santa Fe would not mean an end to local services. It would reduce staff and local oversight here though. We’ve always maintained local needs are best managed by local people. Our area has specific needs that might not be recognized by people in Santa Fe. Children here would continue to benefit from the insight of local residents who better understand the issues here if a merger is avoided.
Rather than voting today to merge with Santa Fe, we would suggest that the board postpone action until the communities in our region are made aware of the difficulties facing Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern New Mexico.
We recognize this is a difficult request given the long period the chapter has been struggling. Living in limbo worrying all the time about making ends meet is frustrating and tiring. It would be easy to walk away after so much effort just to keep operations barely afloat with no sign of help in the immediate future.
However, Roswell and many other communities in southeastern New Mexico possess a great many generous individuals and businesses. If made aware that local control may be lost, we believe there would be a number of donors interested in supporting the local agency.
A plea for assistance carried to the public by the media, civic and service organizations and simply by word of mouth might produce astounding results. If it does not, the merger can always be done later. We believe, however, that if Roswell and other nearby communities are made aware of this need, they will respond with the generosity that is a hallmark of southeastern New Mexico.