On Oct. 15, more than 200 volunteers from multiple Sandia sites participated in Solve for X Day. Employees volunteered with their family and friends to help in the communities where they live and lend a hand to nonprofits that provide a variety of services and resources.
Sandia’s Creative Services team organized one of the more colorful projects on Solve for X Day. They planned and painted three community murals near the playground at Saranam, a nonprofit that assists families experiencing homelessness in New Mexico by providing housing, food, education and job training.
“Everyone was incredibly creative, helpful and thoughtful in all they did. As I walked through the playground area today, it felt so much more welcoming and encouraging. I know it will make such a difference for our families as they come together to play,” Saranam Community Engagement Coordinator Sunny Holmes said.
Other volunteer groups harvested, sorted and prepared food, repaired bikes, created blankets at home and built benches and a ramp.
Solve for X Day was an opportunity for employees to work in the community in support of the annual Sandia Gives campaign.
COLORFUL COMMUNITY SPACE — From left, Creative Services designers Stephanie Blackwell and Stacey Reynolds and photographer Lonnie Anderson stand next to one of the three murals they designed the concepts for and led Sandia volunteers in painting at Saranam, a nonprofit that assists families experiencing homelessness in New Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Saranam)
KID-FRIENDLY ART — Sandia volunteers paint designs on each square of the grid. Children were invited to participate in the process and contribute their own creations. (Photo by Katrina Wagner)
ENGAGING COMMUNITY — Communications specialist Meagan Brace paints a square on a community mural at Saranam. The mural depicts a patchwork-like grid, and volunteers were encouraged to design a patch in their own style. (Photo by Katrina Wagner)
BEAUTY IN THE DETAILS — Technologist Casey Gauderon paints fine details on a phoenix she created for the community mural at Saranam. “This was a community building opportunity that added beauty to our city,” Casey said. (Photo by Katrina Wagner)
PACK THE PANTRY — Weekends and summer breaks are difficult for students that depend on school for meals. Employees in Carlsbad, New Mexico, from left, engineer Ryan Jackson, technologist Kristen Lason, engineer Michael Feng, manager Steve Wagner, quality assurance specialist Jennifer Long, engineer Amelia Hayes, business management professional Andrew Wittmayer, technologist Joseph Perez and engineer Paul Docherty collect donations for Packs for Hunger, which feeds 300 children every weekend. The team delivered the food and stocked pantry shelves to help people in the community. (Photo by Eva Cruz)
FRESH COAT OF PAINT — Members of the Sandia Pride Alliance Network, from left, computer scientist Nick Leathe, mathematician Josh Clifford, cybersecurity researcher Jon Robinson, mechanical engineer Jennifer Brett and technologist Alex Hickman refresh the halls of the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico with a coat of paint. The agency supports transgender, nonbinary and gender nonconforming communities through direct services, education and advocacy and has conducted several awareness trainings at Sandia. (Photo courtesy of the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico)
FALL HARVEST — Postdoc Raquel Weston-Dawkes, left, and community relations specialist Michelle Walker-Wade dig up vine weeds from a crop at Fertile Groundworks in Livermore, California. Volunteers harvested 376 pounds of summer vegetables from the community garden that will be shared with people in the community. (Photo courtesy of Fertile Groundworks)
TUNE UP — Associate Labs Director Rita Gonzales repairs a bicycle with Free Bikes for Kidz New Mexico, a nonprofit that collects, cleans and repairs used bicycles before they are donated to children at afterschool programs, public health clinics and tribal organizations. Their goal is to help every child enjoy the feeling and freedom of riding their first bike. (Photo by Amy Tapia)
GIVING BACK FROM HOME — Technologist Amelia Reyes displays a blanket she made that will be donated to a homeless family. The most popular Solve for X Day project was the no-sew blankets. Sixty-five employees picked up fabric that was pre-cut and made blankets at home that were returned to Sandia and will be distributed to various nonprofits that serve homeless families. “I chose this project to teach and show my 2-year-old daughter sympathy, empathy and compassion,” Amelia said. “There are people out there that are in need of basic necessities. This is my way that together my daughter and I can help others by doing things we love.” (Photo courtesy of Amelia Reyes)
THREE GENERATIONS OF SERVICE — Quality engineer Christine Salley, her mother Sharon and daughter Maggie volunteer to organize donations at (Re)Build Store with Rebuilding Together Sandoval County, a nonprofit that provides home repairs and help with accessibility to low-income residents in the community. “Sandia is making a big impact to our little community, and I hope everyone realizes how special that is in Sandoval County,” Rebuilding Together Sandoval Country Director Bradley Wood said. (Photo by Katrina Wagner)
BEAUTIFYING THE BOSQUE — Albuquerque’s open spaces are a favorite destination for nature lovers, walkers and cyclists. Sandia Women’s Action Network volunteers, from left, Rebecca Bennett, Kara Komula, Aislinn Handley and Joseph Reneker clean up trash and debris along the Bosque to keep the space beautiful for the community to enjoy. (Photo courtesy of the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division)