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The New Mexico National DWI Victims’ Memorial of Perpetual Tears

In 1991, Sonja Britton lost her son, Monty “Butch” Britton, in a DWI crash. After losing her son, Sonja, who has lived in Moriarty from the age of 3, spoke to everyone she could about creating a DWI memorial.  “This was her concept, to have a place where people can come and have their loved ones remembered,” Board member Debbie Ortiz said. It wasn’t long before she gained local support, and in 1994 the Perpetual Tears Memorial, Inc. became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

In 1999, local businessman Mike Anaya donated three acres of land for the Memorial to the City of Moriarty. The City of Moriarty then adopted the project, which made it eligible for state funding, and in 2002 Sonja began to lobby for support from the New Mexico State Legislature. After three years, she gained the support of the legislature and the memorial received its first funding allocation. This, combined with private donations, was enough to build the field of markers and the surrounding wall.

In 2006, the New Mexico National DWI Victims’ Memorial of Perpetual Tears held its grand opening with more than 300 people in attendance. The following year, Britton decided the memorial should honor DWI deaths nationwide. Anyone living anywhere in the United States can apply to memorialize loved ones at the monument.

In all, $1.5 million has been raised through public and private donations and is now invested in the NM National DWI Victims’ Memorial of Perpetual Tears. Sonja Britton is retired from the Board of Directors, but continues to serve on the Advisory Board.

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Parenting The Second Time Around

September 11th is National Grandparents Day.  On this day, we pause to acknowledge, especially, the more than 25,000 New Mexican grandparents who are responsible for raising their grandchildren. Of these 33,000 children, more than 9,000 do not have any parent present in the home (GrandFacts).

On September 20, the Albuquerque Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Community Alliance will host its annual event, Parenting the Second Time Around, at the North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center in Albuquerque from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. The gathering features a resource fair, fun children’s activities, speakers, and a box lunch. The event is free. To register, call 505-255-8740

Support for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Grandparents raising grandchildren face unique challenges, including financial and legal challenges, and often don’t know where to find help. Connie Compton, who raised her grandchild, emphasizes the isolation that many such grandparents experience, feeling that they are the only ones in this situation. ”It’s important to let them know that there is a group interested in them, to help make their lives better, to advocate for them.” 

A number of these grandparents and their allies are working together to build awareness and increase resources available to help grandparents raise the next generation of New Mexicans.

Serving northern New Mexico, Las Cumbres Family Services sponsors the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program, with groups now meeting in Santa Fe and Taos.

The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Community Alliance, serving the greater Albuquerque area, is supported by a collaboration of organizations.

  • Outcomes facilitates monthly support groups throughout the metro area, as well as workshops and special events.
  • MCH Family Outreach provides staffing support for the Alliance and a case manager to help grandparents find the resources they need.
  • Pegasus Legal Services helps grandparents address legal issues, like guardianship, and serves as the fiscal agent for the Alliance.

Legislative Support

A legislative memorial was passed in 2015 (HM 8) and continued in 2016 (SM 1) to support grandparents raising grandchildren in New Mexico. A statewide task force is charged with studying and recommending concrete policy changes to expand the availability of resources to grandparents raising grandchildren.

All the organizations above are participating in the task force. SHARE New Mexico is pleased to be supporting the effort by adding and updating resources in the SHARE Directory that address grandparent needs and by posting the progress of the Task Force here.

Betsey Stilson, another  grandparent and member of the GRG Alliance, reminds us that “this is a societal issue. Our children are falling through the cracks.  We need to recognize both the needs and the wisdom that grandparents bring to the task of raising our children. Our job isn’t over, because society isn’t ready for us to be finished.”

You can hear more from Connie, Betsey, and their allies on Public Square, a program of PBS New Mexico.

How You Can Help

Visit Grandparents Raising Grandchildren at SHARE New Mexico and learn what is both needed and happening around this initiative. If your organization provides resources to support grandparents raising grandchildren, please let us know. Contact or any of the other organizations listed here.


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Designing SHARE 2.0

SHARE New Mexico has been live about three years now. Our intent is to support the good work being done and eliminate duplication of effort, so that we can work smarter together and better address the challenges and opportunities in our communities.

In the past three years, we've been listening to and learning from our target audience:  "people helping people."  You have helped us identify ways we can better meet your information needs in a timely and efficient manner.  In addition, technology evolves every day with new and better ways to collect, compile and share web-based information.

The time is right to launch a redesign of the SHARE website.  With the assistance of our funders, in particular the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and members of our SHARE community, we can take what we have learned from you and build the next generation SHARE website.

Over the next several months, we’ll be letting you know of our progress and inviting your input as we design and test the various components of the new SHARE website.

Meet the Technical Team

Larry Heard is SHARE’s new database manager. Larry has a Master’s Degree in Education and has worked as a teacher, instructional technology specialist, and geographic information systems analyst. Most recently, Larry worked with the New Mexico Community Data Collaborative developing online mapping applications, delivering training, and providing mapping support to a diverse group of government and community organizations.


NM’s Institute of Innovation and Design (IDI) has put together a team with the range of expertise needed to ensure that SHARE 2.0 operates with optimal ease, efficiency, and accuracy. 

Jarred Kozlick, IDI Director, has lived in Albuquerque since 2001 and received his Master's in Computer Engineering in 2014 from UNM. Jarred's areas of interest are data system design, large scale data management solutions, and web application development. 

Wisam Al-Doroubi received his Master's in Computer Engineering two years ago and is currently working towards a  Ph.D. Wisam works full-time at IDI maintaining and developing data warehouse solutions and databases for analytics and data management. His interests are data management, front-end web applications development, machine learning and neural networks.

(L-R) Tushar, Edwin, Jarred, Wisam

Tushar Ojha is a Computer Engineering graduate student at UNM and a Graduate Assistant at IDI. He completed his Bachelor's in Engineering in India. He enjoys working on web application development and data analytics, and has a keen interest in machine learning related research. He enjoys painting, reading, traveling and playing basketball in his free time. He is also an avid soccer fan.

Edwin Agbenyega is currently enrolled in the Computer Engineering Master's Program at UNM.  Edwin pursued his undergraduate in South Korea. He shares an interest in web development with his peers at IDI and has experience in database management and web development. He also enjoys tennis, playing the piano and traveling.

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Ending Hunger in New Mexico

New Mexico ranks number one in the nation for childhood hunger. In our state, nearly one-third of children go to bed hungry. According to hunger statistics by the New Mexico Cares Foundation:

  • 89% of hungry households have an annual income of less than $20,000 annually.
  • 61% choose between paying for utilities or buying food.
  • A Missing Meals study revealed that low-income people in New Mexico miss 117,140,870 meals per year.
  • 75% of hungry households report purchasing inexpensive, unhealthy food in order to have some food at home to eat.
  • 70,000 New Mexicans are seeking food every week.

In Albuquerque, Santa Fe and throughout the state, nonprofits, governments and the private sector are teaming up to fight hunger among children, adults and the elderly.

At, organizations like Roadrunner Food Bank, Kids Cook!, Get Healthy Collaborative, the Downtown Farmer’s Markets and the Rio Grande Food Project  are collaborating to update the SHARE New Mexico Food and Hunger Page and the Community Calendar, where New Mexicans can find farmer’s markets, food pantries, community dinners and resources that can be used to address hunger in our state.

“With the limited resources available to address New Mexico’s food and hunger issues, it is imperative we not only know what other organizations are doing but actually work collaboratively to create greater impact,” Mary Meyer, Director of Kids Cook!, said.

10 Organizations Working to End Hunger in New Mexico

Here are 10 organizations feeding the hungry and helping those in poverty in New Mexico:

Roadrunner Food Bank

The largest and perhaps the most best-known food bank in the state, Roadrunner Food Bank has been serving New Mexico since 1980.  In the last ten years, Roadrunner Food Bank has seen an increase of 70% in the amount of food it distributes. Through four regional food banks and several partner agencies, the food bank manages to help 70,000 hungry people in New Mexico every week.

Kids Cook!

Kids Cook! is an amazing nonprofit organization that helps to reduce nutritional risks among children and help end childhood obesity. Designed for elementary and middle school students, Kids Cook! instructors teach nutrition by helping children to prepare healthy, culturally diverse foods. The nonprofit organization also pairs foods with daily physical activity. Similarly, organizations like NMSU extension, South Valley Cooking and LaCosecha offer cooking classes that engage the entire family.

NM Farmer’s Marketing Association

Not only can New Mexicans find fresh local produce at local farmer’s markets, it’s a great place for those with SNAP EBT cards to shop, too! Many New Mexico farmer’s markets offer Double Up Food Bucks, which allows you to spend $10 and receive another $10 to buy fresh fruits and vegetables grown in New Mexico. Double Up Food Bucks is available at participating local farmer’s markets as well as Montanita Co-Ops in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Gallup.


Seed2Need reduces hunger and improves the nutrition of local families by growing local produce and donating it to local food pantries. The non-profit organization is a collaborative effort between the Sandoval County Master Gardeners, property owners in the village of Corrales and volunteers from Corrales, Rio Rancho, Placitas and Albuquerque. In the past six years, more than 317,000 pounds of produce has been donated to the local community thanks to Seed2Need.

New Mexico Cares Foundation

The New Mexico Cares Foundation hosts the annual End Hunger Summit in Albuquerque, NM, as well as the Strike Out Hunger bowling tournament. The nonprofit is dedicated to building awareness of hunger in New Mexico and alleviating the socioeconomic problems that lead to hunger.

The New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger and Share Our Strength

One of Albuquerque Community Foundation’s leadership initiatives, the New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger is made up of more than 80 organizations working to ending hunger in New Mexico, including local, state and national governments; nonprofit organizations; regional foundations; national organizations and corporations. The collaboration has helped to feed thousands of children through its New Mexico No Kid Hungry campaign, which improves access to nutrition programs and improves families’ knowledge about available programs.

Rio Grande Community Farm

The fresh food grown at Rio Grande Community Farm is distributed to Albuquerque schools, food banks, nonprofit organizations, grocery stores, restaurants and other consumers. The Rio Grande Community Farm also provides year-round educational programs and special events to teach the local community about nutrition, sustainable and organic farming, as well as assisting other non-profit farms. More about community gardens in New Mexico.

Rio Grande Food Project

The Rio Grande Food Project has been proving food and emergency support to New Mexico families since 1989. The New Mexico nonprofit organization provides food to those who need it, and it also coordinates with service organizations to provide job training, healthcare benefits, emergency cell phone service and more to help prevent the debilitating effects of hunger and poverty in our state.

United States Department of Agriculture

The United States Department of Agriculture is host to summer food sites to help feed New Mexico’s hungry children. The New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD), Early Childhood Services Division (ECS), Family Nutrition Bureau (FNB) administers the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) on the State level.

New Mexico Appleseed

New Mexico Appleseed creates laws and policies that help children access meals at school, after school, during the summer and holidays. Through its work, the organization has helped to eliminate reduced-price co-pays in local schools, helped children access a nutritious breakfast at school and afterschool and summer meals.

Want to help the fight against hunger and poverty in New Mexico? invites you to read and respond to our “call to engagement.” And If you are interested in joining the SHARE Food and Hunger team, please contact Here’s a quick primer how you can make the SHARE New Mexico Food & Hunger page even better!

Know of any other hunger nonprofits in New Mexico? Let us know in the comments!

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The NEW 2-1-1 Line in Otero County

The United Way of Otero County (UWOC) is building its 2-1-1 helpline from the ground up, and partnering with SHARE New Mexico to help connect people in need with resources.

Like 2-1-1 lines across the country, the Otero County 2-1-1 helpline will provide information and referrals to people in need of help, Angela Randall, 2-1-1 & volunteer coordinator for the United Way of Otero County, said.

The 2-1-1 line is currently live between the hours of 9a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday – Friday, Randall said. The line covers Otero County and Lincoln County.

SHARE New Mexico and the United Way of Otero County are sharing the work of creating a comprehensive, up-to-date community-based directory,” Randall said.

Taking advantage of the UWOC’s “feet on the ground,” Randall is contacting service providers in the county to sign up with SHARE and update their organizational information in SHARE’s Resource Directory.

Other groups sharing resource lists include Love, INC., Alamo Senior Center, Otero County Community Health Council and the Otero Hunger Coalition.

The United Way of Otero County is Randall’s host organization as she completes her fellowship with “The Mission Continues,” a nonprofit leadership program that supports post-911 veterans reintegrating back into civilian society.

Here's How YOU Can Help

You can help Angela, and Otero County residents, by creating and updating your organization’s profile on to ensure our Resource Directory is up-to-date. This will ensure that community members looking for help for themselves or others will have the information they need to connect people with the right community resources in Otero County.

Check out other resources on the Otero County page. Quick links take you to timely and relevant information and resources for county residents. See what’s happening on the Otero County community calendar and add your community events.

And Here's How SHARE New Mexico Can Help You!

Team up with SHARE to create YOUR community Resource Directory.  Rather than duplicating efforts, which can be costly to create and maintain, SHARE invites you to partner with us to create and maintain New Mexico’s most comprehensive and up-to-date resource directory. 

We are better together! For more information on how SHARE can help you with your resource directory, contact

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How to Get a FREE Video for Your Nonprofit!

Calling all New Mexico nonprofits! Now until August 19, your nonprofit can apply for a Project Awareness grant on If you are chosen to receive a Project Awareness grant, CNM & DATA students will create a FREE video that will help to spread the word about your nonprofit and all of the great work it does.

Project Awareness is a Leadership Albuquerque Initiative that provides nonprofit organizations with FREE online videos. The videos are custom-created by students at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) and Digital Arts and Technology Academy (DATA). This is without any cost to your New Mexico nonprofit. To be eligible,  you have to apply on before August 19, 2016. Three to five nonprofits will be awarded a Project Awareness grant.

Tapping Student Talent

Donna Diller, dean of Business and Information Technology at CNM, said that Project Awareness is a win-win-win situation that benefits students, nonprofits and the community. Students are involved in every aspect of the process, from choosing the grant winners to creating and completing the videos.

Students decide which nonprofits are awarded the grant. This helps students to learn interpersonal skills, teamwork, communication and how nonprofits give back to the community.

“We felt like the community piece was important, for students to learn about nonprofits and ways to give back,” Diller said. “It’s an important part of the community.”

The students at CNM and DATA review the applications at the beginning of the fall semester and spend the next year creating the videos. Some do the videos as part of a class curriculum, others as part of an internship.

“It gives our students a hands-on opportunity to do a real-life project using the same skills they’re learning in the classrooms,” Diller said.

After students choose the grant winners, they work directly with the nonprofit to create the video, which gives them hands-on experience working with customers.

Diller gives credit to Leadership Albuquerque for creating Project Awareness and bringing organizations like SHARE New Mexico, CNM and DATA together.

“It’s a win-win for a lot of folks, and we’re excited to get more of the videos up and rolling,” she said.

Apply Online at

Don’t miss the opportunity to get a FREE video made for your New Mexico nonprofit! To apply for a Project Awareness Grant, you’ll need to login or create an account at Once you are logged in, you can see instructions and view our available grants in our common online grant application. Questions about our online common grant application? Visit our blog to learn more about how it works

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Cancer Support for Patients & Caregivers in New Mexico

Overall, more than 75,000 New Mexicans are currently living with cancer, and 9,000 more are diagnosed every year, according to Cancer Services (CSNM) of New Mexico.

Many people with cancer and their loved ones have difficulty finding both medical and non-medical aid after receiving a diagnosis of cancer. Below are support organizations for people with cancer and caregivers in New Mexico. Additional information about these organizations can be found in’s Resource Directory.


Breast Cancer Resource Center

Located in Albuquerque, NM, the Breast Cancer Resource Center provides assistance to anyone affected by cancer, seeking to close gaps in services and eliminate barriers to care.

Cancer Foundation for New Mexico

The Cancer Foundation for New Mexico provides emotional and educational assistance to patients being treated in Santa Fe, NM. The nonprofit’s core services include aid with transportation, lodging and grocery support, as well as cancer support groups.

Cancer Services of New Mexico

Founded in 2001, Cancer Services of New Mexico (CSNM) is the only statewide nonprofit organization to address gaps in cancer related services, creating programs that support people affected by cancer, family members, loved ones and caregivers. Twice per year, CSNM hosts a Family Cancer retreats that focuses on adult cancer patients and their caregivers on the issues associated with surviving.

Cancer Support Now

Cancer Support Now is made up of a group of cancer survivors reaching out to offer cancer support to people living with cancer in New Mexico. One-on-one support by telephone, support groups, chronic disease management and smoking cessation are among the cancer support services offered by Cancer Support Now.

New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance

New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance was founded by a group of dedicated cancer care physicians in New Mexico who were concerned that the newest investigational cancer treatments were only available through research studies and clinical trials conducted outside the state. As a cancer support organization, NMCCA helps New Mexicans get access to new, investigational oncology research treatments.

New Mexico Cancer Center Foundation

Dedicated to providing for the non-medical needs of people living with cancer, the New Mexico Cancer Center Foundation offers cancer support through providing for basic needs like food, shelter, utilities and essential services. The NMCC Foundation also provides family support, help with financial/insurance issues, legal counseling, cancer support groups and survivorship aid.

People Living Through Cancer

People Living Through Cancer aids people living with cancer and cancer survivors from diagnosis through long-term survivorship. Services include support services, counseling information, referrals and cancer support groups.

Sierra County Cancer Assistance

Run entirely by volunteers, the goal of Sierra County Cancer Assistance is to provide Sierra County residents with transportation to cancer appointments in Las Cruces and Albuquerque, NM. The transportation provided by Sierra County Cancer Assistance is free of charge.

Vargas Memorial Children’s Cancer Fund

The primary goal of the Vargas Memorial Children’s Cancer Fund is to purchase Christmas gifts for all University of New Mexico Hospital children’s cancer clinic patients, and the organization also provides special gifts to the Ronald McDonald House and the UNMH Pediatric Oncology Program.

Do YOU know of any cancer support organizations in New Mexico? Let us know in the comments!



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Free Legal Advice in New Mexico

How can you get free legal advice when you can’t afford a lawyer? In New Mexico, many attorneys provide pro bono legal advice and legal aid without any cost to low-income citizens. These attorneys volunteer because their work helps give justice to those who otherwise would not have a voice.

Legal assistance for domestic violence, medical bills and housing rights are just some of the areas in which these attorneys work. One of the advantages of obtaining help from a volunteer attorney is that the attorney can also help connect those in need with temporary housing, domestic violence shelters and food banks.

FREE Legal Advice in New Mexico

Below is a list of free legal services in New Mexico, including legal aid, pro bono work, hotlines and more.

Dna People’s Legal Services

As a nonprofit organization, Dna People’s Legal Services provides free legal assistance, advice and representation in U.S. and tribal courts.

Family Legal Assistance Group

Family Legal Assistance Group assists low-income New Mexicans with civil matters, domestic matters and small claims. Domestic violence, housing and shelter and landlord/tenant law are some of the areas in which the New Mexico Family Legal Assistance Group help their clients.

Homeless Legal Clinic

Every Tuesday in Santa Fe, volunteer attorneys provide legal information and advice at the Homeless Legal Clinic at St. Elizabeth Shelter. At the clinic, volunteer attorneys can refer to low income and pro bono legal services in New Mexico.

Legal Aid Hotline

Hosted by New Mexico Legal Aid, the Legal Aid Hotline is for those experiencing domestic violence in their homes. There is a hotline for Albuquerque, as well as a statewide hotline for free legal advice in New Mexico.

Legal Insurance & Paperwork Assistance Program (LIPA)

Run by Cancer Services of New Mexico, LIPA offers free legal advice for cancer patients in New Mexico.

New Mexico Christian Legal Aid

New Mexico Christian Legal Aid provides free legal advice to low-income New Mexicans, as well as referrals to pro bono legal services in New Mexico. The non-profit is run by Christian lawyers, law students, paralegals and legal assistants who provide legal and spiritual assistance to the homeless and impoverished in our communities.

New Mexico Legal Aid

Dedicated to equal access to justice for all disenfranchised and low-income people and communities in the state, New Mexico Legal Aid provides outreach, training and representation through programs like its Family Advocacy Center (FAC). FAC is staffed by one attorney and one paralegal who work on domestic violence cases. New Mexico Legal Aid is a leader in coordinating pro bono attorney services in New Mexico.

Pegasus Legal Services for Children

As a private non-profit agency, Pegasus Legal Services provides civil legal services to children, youth and their caregivers in the 7th Judicial District (Torrance, Soorro, Sierra and Catron Counties). Guardian ad Litem and youth attorneys represent children and youth in foster care up to age 17. See Pegasus Legal Services in our New Mexico Resource Directory to learn more about the programs offered.

Veteran Legal Assistance

The New Mexico Bar Association Young Lawyers Section offers a free legal clinic for Veterans in New Mexico. The group offers general legal assistance for veterans as well as Veterans’ Benefits Assistance.

Do YOU know of another organization providing free legal assistance in New Mexico? Let us know in the comments!

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Summer Reading Programs in New Mexico

Libraries across New Mexico are gearing up their summer reading programs in an effort to stop the “summer slide” or the tendency for children to lose the gains that they made during the previous school year.

“Statistics show that for kids who don’t read over the summer, it takes about three to as many as six months to catch up when they start school,” Dave Florez, teen services coordinator for Farmington Public Library, said.

Summer Slide Statistics:

  • 66% of teachers spend three to four weeks re-teaching course material at the beginning of the year.
  • 24% reteach last year’s material for five to six weeks, according to a survey by the National Summer Learning Association.
  • Low income students are most affected by the summer slide, losing more than 2 months in reading achievement over summer vacation, according to a study by Johns Hopkins University.
  • All students, regardless of income level, lost 2 months in match achievement over the summer, according to the study.

The good news: studies show summer reading programs to be effective at preventing the summer slide. For example, a study of low-income students by the University of California-Irvine showed that students enrolled in a voluntary summer reading program scored better on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills compared to students who did not receive summer reading intervention.

Reading is just one of the ways children and teens can avoid the summer slide. Farmington Public Library hosts Technology Tuesdays for teens, where students can experiment with robotics and even a 3D printer. Albuquerque Bernalillo County Library’s summer reading program also includes concerts, arts and crafts and technology.

FREE Family Passes to Museums & More!

Public libraries throughout the state are offering free Family Passes to NM museums and historic sites. Borrow the pass like any library material for up to one week and get free admission for up to 6 people at any of the Department of Cultural Affairs' museums and historic sites. See the list here.

Summer Reading Programs in New Mexico

Here are a few summer reading programs in New Mexico:

Albuquerque Bernalillo County Library

ABC Library’s Summer Reading kicks off on June 4 at the South Broadway Library. Everyone is invited to register for the free 6-week program for children, tweens, teens and adults.

Farmington Public Library

Children teens and adults can register for Farmington Public Library’s summer reading program online. At the end of the summer, participants can join the Carnivale Blast celebration.

Capitan Public Library

Designed for children aged 5-12, the summer reading program at Capital Library meets every Monday during June and July. To register, call (575) 354-3035.

New Mexico Public Education Department

This is the fourth year for the New Mexico True Summer Reading Challenge, which is open to students 5 to 12 years old. One reader and three family members will win an all expense trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, and two readers will win a balloon trip with Gov. Susana Martinez at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Know of any other summer reading programs in New Mexico? Let us know in the comments!

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