The Manuelito Navajo Children’s Home (MNCH) was the recipient of an $8,000 donation from MPC in late 2019, earmarked to assist in finishing a transitional housing project for the facility.
After presenting the check to Director Jim Christian, Gallup Refinery Manager Scott Hanks, Human Resources Manager Brenda Barr and Administrative Assistant Angela Olive also presented MNCH with a $1,471 cash donation that refinery employees collected for the children’s holiday celebrations. Combined with online donations totaling $980, which the organization received separately, the total employee donation was $2,451.
The MNCH cares for 20 children who are permanently placed in the facility, either by the State of New Mexico Social Services, Navajo Nation Social Services or Zuni Tribal Social Services, and by families who are unable to care for them. The children range in ages from 8 to 18, in addition to a special needs 20-year-old.
Most of the children at the facility are home schooled on-site. Working at their own pace, they can graduate as early as the age of 16. Christian explains that MNCH staff tries to help those students transition to the local branch of the University of New Mexico. The students can take college level courses through the local public school system, with the ability to receive an associate’s degree by the time they are 18.
If the student graduates, and has also turned 18, he or she has the option of moving on to a four-year college program. However, some end up going back to the families from which they were taken. Unfortunately, some have ended up on the street in the local area.
“That’s where transitional housing comes in,” explains Hanks. “By building a transitional housing unit, MNCH will provide these young adults with the option of going straight into the workforce, while still remaining in a safe and supportive environment. MPC’s support will help in completing the project in time for two May graduates to be able to utilize, if they so choose. We are proud to be able to support this worthy effort in the Gallup area.”