When Doug Stringer received a call for help from the Navajo Nation during this terrible pandemic, he knew it was Providential.
The Navajo Nation is home of the largest Native American tribe, sprawling across 27,000 square miles in Arizona, New, Mexico, and Utah. Over 250,000 Navajos live both in and out of this territory.
On May 18, CNN reported that the Navajo Nation had the highest COVID-19 infection rate per capita in the U.S., surpassing New York state. But even prior to the pandemic crisis, the Navajo people were already hurting. According to the last census in 2010, the Navajo Nation had a 50% unemployment rate. Many families live in homes with no electricity or running water.
With the support of partners like Mercury One, World Challenge, and others, we are letting them know that Somebody Cares!
With ministry partner Navajo Nation Christian Response Team, we are bringing relief to the Navajo people. Food, hygiene supplies and other essentials are distributed through Navajo pastors and churches to meet the needs in their congregations and communities. NNCRT operates distribution centers where care packages with food and other supplies are assembled and from which they are delivered, both by air and over land.
“NNCRT exists to come alongside people who are feeling hopeless, feeling abandoned, feeling like they have no peace and no hope for the future.” says Ty Platero, Incident Commander with NNCRT. “We hear stories about families who haven’t eaten in days because of the pandemic.”
Somebody Cares has donated 1,680 N95 masks through NNCRT to help healthcare professionals who are treating COVID and other patients. We were able to obtain three pallets of fortified rice casserole from a Feed My Starving Children site in Texas and purchased $2,000 worth of paper products, which were both delivered to Gray Mountain Church by SCA partner Grace of Giving. In addition to that we provided funding to purchase hard-to-obtain items like canned meats, fruits, and vegetables for more rural communities.
“The people at Gray Mountain were very excited to get the delivery, but overwhelmed by the ongoing need among the Navajo Nation,” said Greg Beard from Grace of Giving. “They were still very anxious to get more flour, potatoes, and canned meats.”
Each care package delivered by NNCRT includes printed spiritual resources to remind people of hope in Christ.
“We are not just a relief organization,” Ty explains. “We’re a Christian relief organization. Our hope is to share and send the love of Christ in each one of these care packages.”
SCA has also been working directly with the Office of the President of the Navajo Nation to identify additional needs and provide over $4,500 worth of gift cards to families hit hard by this crisis for food and cleaning supplies.