After sharing this news broadcast on FB, I was overcome with emotion. I am Navajo. I was raised on the Navajo Nation. I am feeling a huge amount of guilt for being so far from my homeland and not being able to help. My family runs a Trading Post in Sanders, Az. My parents and siblings live in Gallup, NM, one of the hot spots for Covid-19. I've been pleading with my mom to close the trading post. They've cut back on hours but refuse to close. I couldn't understand why she was willing to put our family at risk. The few hours that they are open doesn't even generate enough revenue to cover the daily operation cost. My dad had to spell it out for me a few days ago and remind me why they do what they do. It is a sense of responsibility my parents have to be there, to support their customers. The trading post is a staple in the small community. There are many elderly customers that rely on them for produce, dry goods, check cashing and the necessity to pawn. Most survive on Social Security and don't have the resources to stockpile food for weeks at a time. This made me think of an article that Arizona Highways Magazine did on my dad and the trading post in June 2009, page 22. It provides more insight on their dedication to the community. https://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/digital/collection/aho/id/96/rec/11 Many of my friends have been reaching out to me asking how they can help. After a bit of brainstorming with my sister we decided on GoFundMe. The donations will be split between Manuelito Children's Home and providing food baskets for the elderly in the Gallup and Sanders Community. The Manuelito Navajo Children’s Home provides a home for children, who for various reasons, cannot live with their parents. With schools canceled for the remainder of the school year, they are in need of food, cleaning supplies and paper goods. In addition, The Navajo Nation is now mandating the use of masks outside the home. I've made a commitment to sew 150 masks to aid in the fight against Covid-19. I've begun shipping the masks to family in AZ and NM, 50 are being donated to Indian Health Services and the remainder will be sent to the Trading Post to hand out to those in need. For those that would like to help, in any way possible, Ahéhee' (thank you) from the bottom of my heart!
- Barbara Nicodemus
- Nancy Halpin
Fundraising team: Covid-19 NN (4)