Joy Junction hosts annual holiday dinner

Joy Junction hosts annual holiday dinner

Christmas can be a time of family and joy but hardships can make it stressful and disheartening and Joy Junction is trying to change that.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Christmas can be a time for family and joy but for many facing hardships it can be stressful and disheartening.

Local nonprofit Joy Junction is trying to change that. They hosted their annual Christmas Day dinner where volunteers handed out hundreds of dinners. Attendees also received presents.

“It was the bomb. Good music and good family. The gifts were great, everything. Joy Junction is a joy junction,” Zenia Montes said.

Montes is one of the estimated 300 people who got a warm meal and Christmas presents from the nonprofit.

“I know that there’s a God. I believe in Jesus Christ and this is what it’s all about,” Montes said.

Volunteers of all ages were helping out on Christmas Day.

“When we were little kids, less than 10, there was a time my mom needed a little more help and we used to come here as a kid. We were in the shelter for a little time,” said Malinche Mayfield, a Joy Junction volunteer.

Mayfield volunteered with Joy Junction for the first time. She said she wanted to give back after a tough year.

“This year, we experienced a lot of things with my three-year-old being an oncology patient. She’s currently cancer-free. We’re just really blessed this year so we wanted to have Christmas this year giving back,” Mayfield said.

Mayfield brought her brother, her sister and her older kids to help out at the shelter. They also spent Christmas Eve packing up 100 snack bags, as well as jackets and pants to donate. 

Doing this, they say, helps show Albuquerque residents they’re not alone.

“We show to our guests and residents here that we care about them, the community cares about them. And just imagine it’s Christmas time, holiday season. and most of the people, especially those who are here at the shelter, just imagine how they feel,” said Elma Reynalds, the executive director of Joy Junction.

Reynalds says a lot of the people they help are away from family – or don’t have any family at all.

“It’s a perfect time that you know, we are able to make them feel that they are loved,” she said.

She told KOB 4 that the number of guests and residents they have is getting really high.

The good news? Joy Junction has a lot of support from the community.

Reynalds says none of this would be possible without the neighbors who donate time, clothing, toys and food to the shelter.

If you like to help out the shelter, click here. If you need shelter or a warm meal and want to learn more about the non-profit, click here.