The Navajo Nation and Hopi Reservation are extreme food deserts with only 13 grocery stores on Navajo to serve some 180,000 people and only 3 small grocery marts on Hopi to serve some 3,000 people. These communities also have high numbers of elderly, diabetic, asthmatic, and cancer-afflicted (i.e., high risk) individuals. These communities could be devastated by coronavirus and COVID-19.
We want to help these individuals, especially the elderly and high risk individuals, and families with children, to gain access to the food and water (1/3 of Navajo residents do not have running water) and other essential items they will need to weather this pandemic, such as food, PPE, and diapers.
The need is so great. Navajo regularly has roughly 50% unemployment (most of the residents are elderly or children; those who can work often leave the Nation to find jobs), and Hopi has roughly 60% unemployment.
Please give if you can.
Our goal will be to help the elderly (especially those raising their grandchildren), the immunocompromised and mobility impaired, single parents, and struggling families by helping them buy groceries, water, health supplies, and necessary items so they (and their vulnerable communities) can be protected from exposure to the virus by engaging volunteers to make these purchases and deliver them to a safe transfer location for our beneficiaries.
We are also helping to stop the spread of COVID-19 on these reservations by engaging volunteers to sew masks for medical workers and first responders on Navajo and Hopi. We will also use these funds to help purchase the fabric for these masks. And we will invest in a media campaign to urge folks to stay home and socially distance, and to embrace sterilization practices. Our team is led by enrolled Navajo and Hopi tribal members.
Given the amazing support for this effort, we are forming a nonprofit to manage this work and expend these funds. Our initial withdrawals will be deposited with our nonprofit’s fiscal sponsor, Rural Utah Project, which has done incredible work on the Navajo Nation in Utah with respect to voter registration, get out the vote, and a rural addressing project.
The funds from this campaign will be used to make direct purchases, or reimbursement of purchases by volunteers, of bulk food and medical items, and other purchases made on behalf of our beneficiaries, such as water, food from supermarkets, PPE, and other items necessary to keep our beneficiaries socially distanced.
Donate here: GoFundMe Page