The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Trumpeting the cause


December 1, 2019

Mathew Brock

Tyleen Caffrey has been trumpeting for Salvation Army 25 years.

CLOVIS - As holiday shoppers rushed in and out of Clovis' Walmart the morning of Black Friday, a lone musician stood playing Christmas songs on her trumpet while soliciting donations for those in need.

Tyleen Caffrey has been using her musical talents to help raise money for the Salvation Army for 25 years, ever since her second year of college when she was 19.

"It's the biggest shopping day of the season. Traditionally, musicians bring in a bit more money than bell ringers," Caffrey said. "When I was a music major in college, I was looking for some community service."

After that, she just kept playing.

When she isn't volunteering, Caffrey is a social work instructor at Eastern New Mexico University and also runs a non-profit that helps provide formal wear to those in need.

Originally from Kansas, Caffrey has moved around over the years as part of a military family and first moved to Clovis in 2008. No matter where she ended up during the holiday season, she's always found a new branch of the Salvation Army to play for every holiday season since.

"I've worked with different folks with the Salvation Army and no matter where I've gone, the state or the town I've lived in they've never told me no," Caffrey said.

Caffrey said she grew up in extreme poverty and remembers the Salvation Army helping her family during the holiday season and that she still has a doll she received from the Salvation Army as a child.

"It comes from a personal experience. The Salvation Army, to me, has always been a key group when it comes to giving back to any community," Caffrey said.

Caffrey often plays for other holidays and events during the season, but Black Friday has always been her main event. She plays Christmas songs on her trumpet and often plays "Silent Night," which was one of her grandmother's favorites, as well as other classics. She also enjoys playing songs for kids, like "Frosty the Snowman."

Caffrey worked with Salvation Army Lieutenants Miguel and Maria Ibarra this year while collecting donations. Miguel Ibarra said it's always good to have a musician to help out and was excited to work with someone who had been involved for so long.

"She's been playing and volunteering with us for 25 years. She's very faithful and has such loyalty. We are very proud of her," Miguel Ibarra said. "We're always seeking more volunteers and everything we collect in the kettle ends back up in the community."

Maria Ibarra said funds often go to Christmas dinners and gifts for children, but can also end up helping purchase food or pay bills and rent for those in need throughout the year.


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