by Mark Rudi, Staff Writer
Kathy Swope has been giving back to her community for much of
the last two decades.
She has been executive director at Sacramento Mountains
Senior Services for 13 years and also founded the Sacramento
Assistance Program, which helps house needy families in the
mountain regions by assisting with housing, paying utilities
and feeding families.
"It is probably the most worthwhile job I've ever
had," Swope said, "as far as making you feel good
about who you are and what you do. It's (Sacramento
Assistance Program) to help people, not just seniors, but
people that need help. We've paid for propane, bought
firewood and groceries,. Now we're doing a mobile food
bank, we're feeding more than 100 families per month for free
with more than 50 pounds of food."
Swope had many sleepless nights while trying to put
together the program - and not even a month into it, found
someone in need of help.
"We just started this, literally, I was lying in
bed, I thought of it and not a month later, this lady, one o
my seniors, we found she had been living like a hoarder -
worse than that. " Swope said, "In your wildest
nightmares, you couldn't imagine how this lady was living -
six years with no water, no anything."
Swope then set out an email to 10 people. With
that email, she received enough money to put the needy woman
in an apartment, pay rent and get her some clothes - all in
about 48 hours.
After that, Swope said the program grew from there.
"People were giving us money and we were trying to
be good stewards of that money," Swope said, "We
give it out as we can and now by partnering with the
Roadrunner Food Bank, we're able to take care of families -
all kinds of families - by giving them 50 pounds of food every
Swope said the program has helped about 200 families in
the Sacramento Mountains region.
As executive director at Sacramento Senior Servi9ces,
she oversees both sites in Cloudcroft and High Rolls.
She also worked for the Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce
for five and half years and chaired the Otero County Tourism
Board while working for the Chamber.
Her husband, Jimmy, was a longtime coach at Cloudcroft
Hight School before retiring a few years ago. When Jimmy
was coaching, Kathy would keep stats for the Bears athletic
teams and also held pregame meals at the senior center for the
Cloudcroft football, basketball and volleyball teams as part
of the booster club.
contact Mark Rudi at email@example.com
REPRINT FROM "A supplement of the Alamogordo Daily
News", May 15, 2011