The Sonny Project

Please help us buy a new home for Sonny. We bought the building he lived in and want to help his caretaker buy a used camper for him to live in.

Started: 2014-07-23T18:48:53.265088+00:00

Albuquerque, NM, USA

*Update* Artists 'Round Town has graciously donated artworks that are available as rewards to donors who make a minimum pledge! If you already donated and are interested in one of the artworks, please contact us immediately.

Artists ’Round Town is a cooperative of professional artists from Albuquerque and vicinity. The multi-cultural background and diversity of our member artists, working in a wide range of media and style allows for exciting exhibitions of fine artwork. Our work includes all the traditional painting mediums, plus fiber, printmaking, mixed media, and digital art.  From soft romanticism to hard-edged abstract, we produce cohesive shows that explore human expression in all its variety.  The cooperative was formed in 1995 and since then, we have had many successful group exhibitions.

STC.UNM is the economic development organization at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  We’re working on a community project called Innovate ABQ to revitalize downtown Albuquerque and spur economic growth in our city and state.  We recently purchased land and buildings in downtown Albuquerque from First Baptist Church so that we and our community partners can build a business incubator.  The church and its affiliated day program, Noon Day Ministry, which feeds homeless folks in the area, have relocated to new facilities.   

An unusual situation has developed as a result of the purchase of the property that we’d like to do something about it and are asking for your help. We’ve learned that the day program’s volunteer security guard, who lived in the church to prevent vandalism, needs a new home too.  His name is Sonny.  This crowdfunding project is focused on raising money to help Noon Day buy a used trailer for Sonny so that he can continue his duties at their new facility.     

Noon Day Ministry, a nonprofit community program established in 1982 to meet the needs of homeless individuals and families through its feeding program, the largest such program in New Mexico, occupies the Noon Day Center, which is part of the First Baptist Church property recently purchased by STC and located just west of the church building.  Noon Day also provides many other service programs for the homeless and relies solely on contributions from the public, businesses, and churches (including First Baptist), and other organizations to fund its operations and programs. 

Noon Day also relies on volunteers to staff its many activities and services.  Some of those volunteers are also homeless.  For approximately two years, Noon Day has relied on a very loyal, disabled homeless client named Sonny as their security person for the buildings on the property.  Danny Whatley, Director of Noon Day Ministries, tells us that Sonny has been very good at patrolling the buildings at night, driving off would be vandals, burglars and squatters.  “I’ve instructed him to call me or the police if there’s trouble.  A few years ago the church had a major break-in and also a fire that did some damage to the building so having Sonny on site at night has really helped us.”  The church has allowed Sonny to live in a room at the church so that he can make his rounds periodically at night.  

Of course, now that ownership of the church has changed hands, Sonny can no longer live at the church and has been living with Mr. Whatley and his family.   Considering his disability from a brain injury that has limited his ability to work, Sonny would probably not do well living on his own.   “Sonny suffered a brain injury several years ago, is disabled and not had regular employment for many years,” Mr. Whatley explained.  He has a sister in Alabama but no family here.  Sonny and his siblings were adopted out as kids.  We’d like for him, and Sonny wants to continue, to be our security person at our new facility.  Since we’re a day program providing meals and services but not beds for the local homeless population, we need to find accommodations for Sonny.” 

Noon Day’s goal is to purchase a used camper for Sonny to live in at their new facility, which they will be moving into by October or November. 

Learn more about Noon Day from this Morning Brew Clip from April 2013:

Crowdfunding project aids caretaker - Noon Day Ministry, STC.UNM collaborate to solve problem http://news.unm.edu/news/crowdfunding-project-aids-caretaker

Crowdfunding helps watchman of future Innovate ABQ site http://krqe.com/2014/08/11/crowdfunding-helps-watchman-of-future-innovate-abq-site/

STC.UNM is a nonprofit corporation exempt from federal taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Please contact your tax advisor for specific information regarding your deductions.