December 13, 2004

Contact: Jennifer Riordan 272-0261, 220-0702 cell; Bridgid Isworth 272-1622

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The University of New Mexico's FOCUS Programs will benefit from this year's Macy's Holiday Giving Tree.

FOCUS Programs include SELECTT (Starting Early to Link Enhanced, Comprehensive Treatment Teams), Los Pasos ("the steps") and GRO (Grandparents and Relatives Outreach). These programs serve at-risk children from birth to five and their families, including siblings and other relatives living in the home. Its mission is to promote and nurture the relationships between young children and their caregivers.

The Giving Tree at Macy's allows Macy's customers and employees to give back to the community over the holiday season. People are encouraged to take a "Giving Tree" ornament off the tree. A person in need will have identified a gift that they wished for and stated it on the ornament.

Once the gift is purchased, the shopper returns the gift (with the giving tree ornament attached) back to Macy's. Just before the holidays, the gifts are collected, wrapped and delivered to them.

By fulfilling the wish indicated on the ornament, customers and employees grant a wish for children and their families who needed some extra help during the holidays. The Giving tree will be up until December 20 for shoppers to support the children in need this holiday season.

By working in partnership with families to support good choices for their children, FOCUS supports the family through case management, parenting guidance, ongoing developmental monitoring and legal support. FOCUS collaborates with the community to improve services for children and families, facilitates access to services, and works to prevent child abuse and neglect.