The Thanksgiving and Christmas Givaways to the Navajo Reservation

by | Mar 2, 2023 | Navajo Nation | 0 comments

New years greetings to all

The xmas giveaway

It was 15 degrees when we left the barn in kanab for the xmas giveaway
with food boxes and warm weather gear for some 60 households. En route
the temps dropped to 3 degrees. And once on the rez we heard of frozen
pipes and people worried about staying warm. Winter had come early,
fierce and furious.

There were only 4 vehicles and a trailer this time. a transfer for
Monument valley and Kaibeto, delivered by Sarah and Linda and their
family members.
Laura and Jason, Hal, Rick and i followed Betty and Jack for home
deliveries in the shonto area.

At the first home we visited we found an elderly couple all by
themselves and in the middle of nowhere.. They came out to welcome us
and kept warm sitting against the sunny side of the house. Their pipes
had frozen and had no water to clean or wash.
When we placed our giveaway of not just food, but water, wipes,
sanitizer, blankets ,socks and gloves, in front of the house, grandma
wispered to Betty that this was their best xmas ever..

At the second home, some 20 minutes away along a rough road, we found a
grandpa turning 100 that week and his son close to 80 who looks after
him.  The home had a sign saying ‘no hugs, no hand shake, no strangers’.
And so, as per covid protocol, we waited in our verhicles until the son,
who was bringing in firewood,  was inside and the door closed, before
we, fully masked,  placed our giveaway on the porch for them to collect
once we were gone.

We helped deliver until 4 so that we would be back on paved roads before
dark. Each home had its own story, its own struggles with covid, the
isolation, the cold. All appreciative of the unexspected giveaway on
this bitter day. Images and memories of grandmas checking on their sheep
with frozen cold hands, a son trying to chop firewood for his elderly
mother by hand as his chain saw was disabled..a frozen pond with some
wild horses with frosted manes. snow covered land.
We had done 12 of the 20 households. Betty and Jack carried on to Tall
Mountain with the last sets. They finished by 7 to come “home to a
swimming pool” Betty said. The extreme cold had frozen their pipes too.

How grateful we were to receive a donation of some 180 blankets and
gloves and socks @ 3 pairs per person. Who was to know when we decided
in the fall to reach out for donations of blankets/socks and gloves that
this was going to be the year of the severe and early winter? It was
cold outside but we felt the glow of gratitude knowing we had been able
to help in some small way.

For the house holds we visited the memories remain long after the food
is gone of these people coming from far with these special giveaways:
Wickenburg AZ, Kanab UT, Salt Lake City, Ogden UT, Peoa UT, Jackson Hole
WY. As they always ask, “where are they from?”

And we tell them about all the people who have helped and donated in
somany ways: the 80 hams, 280 squash, 75 nuts, food for 50 boxes, one
family’s giveway of 20 boxes, spam for 60 boxes, 20 lap blankets, 25
hygiene kits, matches,  petfood/treats,  gloves and socks, 180
blankets/throws and a pellet of wipes, 144 sanitizers, 
individual/family trust/church donations. and the teams who delivered
the giveaway on your behalf at their own cost for accommodation and
gasoline..9 vehicles re thanksgiving/75 households and 4 vehicles plus
trailer re xmas/60 households.

It is a massive effort to cobble it all together but done with love.
(Danny and Haley, Jim, Gordon, Amber, Joanne, Rick and myself)

We are told that ,to this day, we are the only group helping these
healthcare workers and the people in their care, the homebound, elderly
and at risk households.

A humble thank you to all of you who have helped in ways large and small
and for your love, time, donations and prayers.

Wishing you all that is good and beautiful for the new year and looking
forward to continue helping those whose needs are real but who are on
few people’s radar because of their isolation.

Feel the blessings,


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