UWC-USA donating 1,000 toys, 500 books for Las Vegas summer event program

The San Miguel County 100% Community initiative is planning a summer event program that includes giveaways to 1,000 children.

The Mask Parade will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 20, in Melody Park on the New Mexico Highlands University campus. Children ages 3 through 12 participating in the free drive-through event will receive masks, books, toys and other educational resources, said Kim Blea, dean of students for NMHU. Local residents have volunteered to make masks for the event celebrating summer reading, while the United World College-USA is donating 500 books and 1,000 toys.

“Education changed my life, and it started with Head Start,” said Victoria J. Mora, president of UWC-USA. “It means so much to me to be partnering to support literacy and learning through play in our local community.”

“The time we spend with our children reading, or playing games with them that teach them skills and develop their resilience, is never wasted,” Mora continued. “I’m so glad UWC-USA could provide books and games to so many children at a tough time for so many.” 

Participants are encouraged to decorate their vehicles and masks. Everyone must remain in their vehicles.

“We encourage people to attend this event,” Blea said. “For one, we want every resident including youth to have a mask. We are also really focusing on literacy, ensuring students and youth have access to education resources during the summer.”

“The main purpose of this is to celebrate the students, to keep them safe and educated through COVID-19 and to celebrate their efforts during distance learning,” said Liz Probst, community resources specialist for 100% Community. “It definitely wasn’t easy for them, and to celebrate their parents for their effort.”

The 100% Community helps residents have access to vital services committed to strengthening their health, safety and resilience. The county-focused initiative supported by the Anna, Age Eight Institute in Santa Fe is part of the state’s higher education system.

The purpose of the initiative is to connect the resources and support our people within the community,” said Probst, whose husband, Matt Probst, is director of 100% Community and medical director at El Centro Family Health.

“We all help those that need it most, and that will get our community through this,” Matt Probst wrote in an email. “United by the conviction in our hearts we join forces to fight disparity. This new and rapidly growing movement is already doing a lot of good.”

He noted that during the Mask Parade, families will receive surviving and thriving kits that will contain resources for families to have fun this summer in a safe way, resources for food and other free resources for youth, and information on how to be counted in the U.S. Census.

For more information or to participate, contact Liz Probst at or 505-470-3729.


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