Editor’s Note: We want to hear the stories that prove Las Cruces is benevolent. Send a story (300 words or less, or “letter to the editor” size) to [email protected] with the title “Las Cruces is caring” and we’ll add it to a compilation of anecdotes, moments and interactions for all to read. Thank you Las Cruces!
LAS CRUCES — Las Cruces residents are considered the most caring people in New Mexico according to Insurify’s findings, and one Las Cruces woman has the experience to prove it.
In a recent report by Insurify — an online insurance comparison platform — a higher percentage of Las Cruces residents work in “caregiver” occupations than any other city in the state.
The company identified caregivers, counsellors, firefighters, palliative care volunteers, nurse practitioners, doctors and physicians, teachers, therapists and social workers as the most caring occupations in 2022.
Add aspiring truckers to this list of compassionate professions, as Sarah Pemberton of Las Cruces discovered on January 1, 2022.
Pemberton, 63 and a recently retired nurse, said she has lived with bipolar disorder since she was diagnosed as a child. During a manic period, she said she usually slept little for weeks.
Early on New Year’s Day — in the middle of a week with little sleep — Pemberton said she decided to drive to Circle K on El Paseo Road to get a Diet Pepsi.
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“I close my eyes for just a second and that’s all it took. And I ran to the sidewalk in the median and pulled out a sign,” Pemberton said. The accident happened right next to Circle K.
Police responded and took Pemberton’s information for a report. Once that was done, it was up to Pemberton to find a way to get home and have her now unusable vehicle towed away – a difficult task during the holidays.
Jesus Torres, 19, was refueling his van at Circle K and saw Pemberton’s interaction with police. He offered to drive Pemberton home and tow her vehicle, which he did later that day.
Unable to pay him at the time, Pemberton instead offered him freshly baked brownies and green chili chicken soup.
“How many people would have given up their New Year’s Day? she asked.
Torres said he hopes to start his own non-commercial driver’s license carrying business once he graduates from high school. He currently hauls cars for friends and works other side jobs while taking adult classes at Doña Ana Community College.
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Pemberton and Torres have struck up a friendship since their interaction on New Years Day. Torres said he took friends to visit Pemberton so they could experience his cooking.
“She’s just an amazing person who it’s fair to be with. She laughs all the time – she’s very funny, I can tell you that,” Torres said. She also shares stories from her years as a nurse. working in area hospitals.
He says he’s gotten a lot of help himself over the years, which seems to have rubbed off on this Good Samaritan. He added that if people are looking for help transporting a vehicle, he can be contacted via email at [email protected]
This article originally appeared on Las Cruces Sun-News: Does Las Cruces have the most caring locals in New Mexico? The new scoring system says yes.