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I'm here today to challenge you! I'm hopeful that you will accept my challenge because it's an easy challenge, but it will require you to take swift, decisive, immediate action. I promise that I will not ask you to do anything that is immoral, illegal or fattening. Who's Game?

When I was a child growing up in Bayard, our neighbor was a wonderful woman that we all simply adored. My mother taught us to respect her and, out of that respect, we called her "Grandma Gabriela." Grandma was a petite woman with silvery hair and gold, wire-framed, glasses. She had very happy eyes and a pleasant smile. Grandma was always there for us, and we, in turn, were always there for her.

As the youngest of eight children, you might imagine that I had lots of caregivers. My mom and two of my sisters worked at Hillcrest General Hospital, and they were always able to stagger their work schedules so that I had someone to watch over me. On the rare occasion that the schedules didn't line up, I would stay with Grandma Gabriela. I don't remember how often this happened but I do know that Grandma Gabriella always did it willingly. I'm thankful that my mom had a neighbor to help her out when she needed it.

On the other hand, my mom was always there for our neighbor! I remember when my siblings would be sent to Bailey's Grocery store for a quick errand my mom would have us run next door to find out what Grandma Gabriela needed from the store. The neighborly thing to do was to help the elderly neighbor with her basic needs so that she didn't need to go to the store later. We were always taught to be considerate of our neighbors when we were growing up. Those ideals still hold true today! We act in consideration for our neighbors as we go about our daily routine and help them out when we can. This, in turn, brings a sense of peace and harmony to our neighborhood.

Neighbors helping neighbors has been a big part of what makes life so rich here in Grant County! The relationship between our family and Grandma Gabriela is a microcosm of society in general and can be extrapolated to the big picture of the way things have been in Grant County. In a small community like ours we create harmony and peace when we work together for the common good!

What if I told you that you could do something to help your neighbors in a way that will be a tremendous help for them and would in turn help your community in a big way. Would you be willing to help? What if I told you that this help you could give to your neighbor would only take 10 minutes of your time but will benefit you, your neighbor and your community for the next 10 years and beyond. Would you be willing to help?

My challenge to you is to help somebody you know complete their census survey today. Helping someone complete their census means that you have helped them complete a vital step that is critical to our county's future. You have helped to ensure that one more person can be added to our head count of federal funding and programs that our county so desperately needs over the next ten years.

A counted family of four could bring more than 150,000 federal dollars to Grant County over the next ten years. The funding that a complete census count brings could help bring better, safer, roads to our communities and better care for our seniors. This funding could help support Headstart and lunch programs to help feed our kids and it could help improve Emergency Response resources for our first responders. The census helps bring critical funding to our community and it's important that we count as many people as possible. For more information go to www.2020census.gov. If you need help completing your census call me at the chamber and I will help. My number is 575-538-3785 and there is no charge for my help.

That is your challenge: Help your neighbor complete their census! It is a simple challenge, but we are only at 51% of respondents as of this day and the deadline to complete your census is September 30, 2020. This is NOT a mission impossible and this message will NOT self-destruct in 10 seconds. Do you accept it?

Live from Silver City

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