Help Needed for this Dream to Come True

Esperanza’s emergency shelter is safe, cozy and warm.  As a haven for women, children and men who have fled abusive situations, the space is a home-away-from-home.  It’s a place to take time to heal and plan a new way of life.

There is one thing missing, however, from Esperanza Shelter:  a playground and a garden around it.  While there is a large backyard and a shaded portal, they remain pretty dismal.  The yard is desolate with just a few toys scattered around in the dirt.  Fencing needs replacing.  The concrete walkway under the portal needs to be replaced.  There is no landscaping to speak of.  No colorful playground.

But we’re working to change that.  With several generous lead gifts, we’re off to a good start.  A gently used commercial playground from Exerplay, Inc., a $5,000 grant from Santa Fe’s Rotary Club del Sur, and graphic design services from Janie Alderman Design, Esperanza’s “Hope & Play Garden” is a dream gathering steam.

“We envision children playing and using their imaginations on our new play equipment”, says Denise Vermeulen, director of development & communications for Esperanza.  “We hear children laughing and their mothers relaxing and healing in the sunshine, enjoying the flowers and shrubs, and embracing the tranquility of the garden.”

Board President Marcos Zubia agrees.  “As a young child I lived with my mom in room number eight at the Shelter.  It would have meant a lot to me to have had a playground to play in while mom sat under the portal and enjoyed the garden.  That’s one of the few missing pieces at the Shelter.”

Will you help Esperanza make this dream come true? Become a Hope & Play Partner!  To donate to Esperanza’s Hope & Play Garden, please click the donation button above. 

To offer services or in-kind help, email Denise Vermeulen at or Marcos Zubia at

Together we are Hope.  We are Esperanza!


Thank You to These Hope & Play Partners

Irene Ritter Foundation

Exerplay, Inc.

Southside Rotary Club

 Thornburg Foundation

Janie Alderman Design