One family keeps the Christmas spirit alive and well in Socorro

Posted at: 12/24/2012 8:19 AM
By: Heather Mills, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The Christmas spirit is certainly alive in Socorro - where one family there has spent the last four decades giving to those in need. This week's Hometown Heroes are the Jaramillos.

For many in Socorro, Christmas starts with the generosity of the Jaramillo family.

Frank Marble said, "It's Christmas dinner for me. Friends and family will be coming over."

For 43 years, Toby and Ermelinda Jaramillo have been helping their community, straight from their own pocketbook.

"He started with one family, and from there it just escalated," said Ermelinda Jaramillo.

Toby Jaramillo fondly remembers the first time they delivered food to a family in need.

"When we drove up, we got the bags down and one of the little boys got an apple and gave it to his friend and gave an apple to a little girl."

That was in Albuquerque. They moved to Socorro in the 70's and kept the tradition alive.

"So here I am, doing it again," Toby Jaramillo said.

The Christmas Food Drive has grown so much in four decades; with the help of their children, grandchildren, volunteers and donations; they're expecting to feed 350 families this year.

Socorro mayor Ravi Bhasker, said, "There are turkey giveaways, and bread and food for the people who really aren't going to be able to afford (it)."

The Jaramillos say they'll keep giving this way, each year, and hope they can teach others to do the same.

"We want people to know that if you put your heart out there, there's always people that needs stuff and if everyone works together it just makes everything work," Toby Jaramillo said.