By: Brenda Cordova, President, ADC LTD NM
No strangers here
Most kids grow up being told not to talk to strangers, but our upbringing was different. When I was young our parents owned a general store in our hometown of Jarelas, New Mexico. Our whole world was the community.
From the time we could see over the counter we pitched in- counting out change, pumping gas, sweeping the floors- it was a team effort. It never occurred to us not to help, we figured that was just what you do when you’re a person on this planet.
Being the center of the community meant that we got to know everyone. We were witnesses to ups and downs in the lives of everyone around us. My dad spent many hours helping people through a crisis, and I can still smell the delicious food my mom would cook up for neighbors who were having hard times.
It was a good business and taught us how to give back. We weren’t there to make a lot of money, we were there to help. Even as we closed the business a few years ago, we found vouchers of debt that were 50 years old. It was about being there for each other.
Keeping our roots in New Mexico
Growing up with this philosophy made it natural to make impacting people’s lives one of the core values of our family business, ADC LTD.
One of the ways we’ve done this is by keeping our roots in New Mexico. Most of our business takes place in the DC area, but we’ve pushed against the grain to keep our headquarters where our family has been for over 300 years. It means a lot to us to foster local talent and create jobs right here in our home state.
Now we’ve grown into a formidable competitor with Fortune 100 companies, and we’re setting the industry standards for quality and expectations. We did all this by sowing the seeds of excellence not only in our work, but in the people it revolves around.
We want to make an impact not only in the industry we’re serving, but in the community we’re living in.
It’s not always the easiest route, but it is where we can make the most difference. It’s so rewarding to hear how our staff are moving their families forward thanks to the good jobs they have with us.
What’s it all for?
When we began to offer help outside our own business, we wanted to work with an organization that would have a long-term impact in the greater New Mexico area. Saranam felt like a natural fit with our core values.
If we’re not helping out the people in our neighborhood and community, what’s it all for? These are our family. That’s where we’re helping out first.
There are so many wonderful components of the Saranam program: living in such a compassionate community means that families aren’t strangers or outcasts but are part of something bigger; kids and parents alike know that if they are having a hard time, they have people who have been in the same situation who can help.
It’s more than just a bed and shelter, its building up people. Kids grow up in homes that are stable and adults develop real-world skills by taking classes in parenting, budgeting, and building assets- things that may have been foreign before but impact their lives for generations. It isn’t a Band-Aid. It’s a solution.
The kind of dignity that Saranam affords to families is the bedrock of the community we want to help build.
This is not who we are
I’ve been involved with Saranam for a while, but the need in the community was put into sharp relief during the pandemic. Seeing rates of homelessness explode really pushed our company to say, “this is not who we are. We don’t allow our fellow New Mexicans to suffer.”
We knew that the community needed Saranam’s expansion timeline to move up, so ADC invested $1 million to build this second campus.
We believe expanding this program will continue to give back to New Mexicans for many years! Not only are we doubling Saranam’s capacity, but by repurposing school portables- buildings that can be found anywhere- we are making it incredibly feasible to replicate this program throughout the state. Moreover, it’s a program in which New Mexico can be a leader by providing a solution for other communities in our country.
A Special Challenge
We hope that this gift challenges other New Mexico businesses to make positive changes by investing in the people who will give their time and talents back into the community.
The people, the generations of families, that Saranam helps are the same people who go on to work, pay taxes, and shop in stores in our community. They go on to volunteer, to donate, and to live in a way that builds UP our community.
Nobody is going to build the community for you. YOU have to do it.
We never went into business in New Mexico thinking about how much money we can make; we talked about the impact we could have. Supporting good people in hard times is the most noble way to do that.
I would love to challenge the community triple our donation. Give as big as we did or as small as simply giving up eating out once a week. Together, we can do it!