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Donations Needed for Native American Relief Efforts

Faculty, staff and students at the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine are working together to help Native Americans and other rural communities in New Mexico during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indigenous groups have been particularly hard hit by the virus and many are dying in disproportionate numbers.

Burrell College’s Student National Medical Association (SNMA) is spearheading the initiative and becoming part of Protect NM, an organization established by University of New Mexico medical students who are collecting personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers on the frontlines. The goal is to help slow the spread of the coronavirus and lower the infection rate in the state’s underserved communities.

Student members are reaching out directly to pueblos, tribes and other New Mexico communities and facilities that are in need of supplies. (Scroll down to view a complete list of items needed.) With the help of state officials, donated items will be triaged and distributed to indigenous groups and other communities.

SNMA is also collecting monetary donations to help make masks and hand sanitizer and to purchase supplies. Funds are being collected online using the Venmo app. Click here to donate or if you already have the Venmo app, search SNMA-BCOM . Sidra Ali, president of SNMA, says, “We understand Venmo is a casual way to donate money, however, time is of the essence and our treasurer and other student officers will ensure each penny is accounted for.”

Checks are also being accepted and can be made out to “SNMA BCOM” and postmarked to the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, 3501 Arrowhead Dr., Las Cruces, NM 88001. Please label envelopes “Attention SNMA.”

SNMA’s efforts are overseen by Professor Nancy Minugh-Purvis, PhD, Associate Professor Adela Lente, MD, and Assistant Vice President of Multicultural Inclusion Justin McHorse. For more information or to volunteer, call: 575-322-6987.


  • Masks
    • N-95, KN-95, Ear loop, or surgical
    • Materials to make masks
      • New fabric (high thread-count cotton preferred)
      • Coffee filters
      • Rubber bands
      • Hair ties
      • Threads and needles
  • Hand Sanitizer
    • Materials to make hand sanitizer
      • Isopropyl Alcohol (preferably 99.8%)
      • Hydrogen Peroxide (preferably 3%)
      • Glycerol (preferably 98%
      • Bottles/plastic dispensers for the hand sanitizer (New or clean and empty. Any size.)
  • Disinfectant Wipes
    • Materials to make disinfectant wipes
      • Paper towels
      • Bleach
      • Water
      • Containers (any size)


  • Gloves (S-2X)
    • Nitrile, sterile or surgical
  • Face Shields
    • Half face piece face shield (with eyewear-like temple bars)
    • Disposable one-piece face/neck length face shield visor assembly with foam forehead cushion and elastic strap
    • Surgical face mask with integral visor
    • Goggles
  • Gowns (particularly L-3X)
    • Isolation and nondescript. All level types are needed.
  • Tyvek Suits (Bunny Suit)
  • Thermometers
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Trash Bags (any size)
  • Red biohazard bags (used for PPE disposal)
  • Infection Control Kit
  • Clear plastic sheeting (preferably 10ft x 25 ft, used to line ambulances)
  • Duct Tape
  • Gallon Garden Sprayer
  • Boxes for storage, shipment, and transportation (any size)
  • Printing labels (any size)

Items and materials may be mailed or dropped off at the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, located at 3501 Arrowhead Dr., Las Cruces, NM 88001. Please label donations “Attention SNMA.”

If you are interested in donating to other Native American relief efforts, visit the Navajo Nation COVID-19 Relief Fund and the Pueblo Relief Fund (Serving the 20 Pueblo Tribal Nations).