The White Mountain Apache Reservation, located in the east central region of Arizona, is home to the White Mountain Apache, a federally recognized Western Apache tribe with approximately 16,000 members. A large portion of the tribal community consists of young children and teens; the goal for this campaign is to help change these lives.
The White Mountain Apache Gateway is a resources program being developed to tangibly improve the living situations of tribal members by collecting and delivering necessities, opening doors to new opportunities, and helping to preserve the linguistic and cultural heritage unique to the White Mountain Apache Tribe. We strive to improve quality of life and learning for the generations to come. In order to accomplish this goal, we are seeking funding to continue current efforts, as well as fund the startup of a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Money raised will go directly toward much-needed living supplies, travel needs, sponsorships, and future education programs for members of the community. We would be beyond appreciative to receive any amount of help and support.
Our primary objectives are three-fold:
1) Expand efforts to collect and transport essential living supplies to White Mountain Apache Reservation residents in need. Many live in remote locations without transportation, in dilapidated housing, and without basic utilities such as running water. Considering the high poverty rate on the reservation (over 44%, compared to 15% for the state of AZ as a whole, with 52% of children under 12 living in poverty), many families are lacking day-to-day items. In addition to gathering supplies, delivering them on a regular basis requires a great amount of support with transport and logistics.
2) Create opportunities for job training that will equip participants with lifelong skills to better themselves, become financially independent, and be in a position to give back to their home community. The unemployment rate on the reservation is over 36% (compared to below 5% for the state of AZ), and the leading cause of death for those 19 and under is suicide. This is a tragic situation; these kids deserve to have the hope to move up in life! Strengthening household financial security is a published CDC approach to suicidal behavior prevention.
3) Fund the startup of a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The average cost of non-profit formation can be upwards of $10,000, depending on legal consultation, accounting setup, government registration, insurance costs, establishing a donation center, etc. Obtaining 501(c)(3) status would allow individuals to donate tax-free, as well as enable us to apply for grants (public and private), lower postage rates, and exempt donations from income taxes so that all money collected can go toward furthering the objectives of the foundation.
What have we done so far?
To take the first steps, we have visited the reservation on multiple occasions in the last year, with truckloads of locally collected clothing, household supplies, firewood, and other donated items. We have visited with families and elders, attended tribal ceremonies, and interviewed people about community needs.
We are now also hosting two young men from the White Mountain Apache Reservation at our location in the DFW area. We are providing food, transportation, housing, training, and work to help them escape the poverty, alcohol and drug abuse, and lack of job opportunities that are unfortunate obstacles in their distressed community. Here, they are learning a trade, receiving free room and board, and are provided home-cooked meals daily. This provides them a unique way to become educated and independent. We would love to continue to help many other individuals like them find jobs and life-changing opportunities.
To recap, our aim is to help change lives in the White Mountain Apache Tribe through continued collection and direct delivery of living supplies, continued and future job training sponsorships, and non-profit formation costs. Looking forward, we have additional objectives including development of a language education and preservation program.
Any amount is appreciated, and fund usage will be documented and transparent. Even a like, share/re-post of this campaign would help so much!
Future goals of this campaign:
• Set up an education enrichment program to teach tribal members about their native language as well as close any gaps in English language skills. This would help improve generational communication between tribal elders and youth, as well as aid in communication in their day-to-day lives, on and off of the reservation. To further the effort, we plan to develop a way to document the daily lives of White Mountain Apache elders, which could ultimately be distributed at no cost to users via public libraries. Doing so would establish great learning tools for the future of the tribal community. We believe such a program will help preserve the language, traditions, culture, values, and morals of past generations.
• Spread awareness about the rich, unique heritage of the White Mountain Apache Tribe through cultural avenues such as art museums, working with tribal members to curate public exhibitions of artifacts and artworks
• Research and apply for prospective non-profit grant money to continue helping the community
Who are we?
The White Mountain Apache Gateway effort is spearheaded by Tyler Pryor, a White Mountain Apache adoptee who grew up in the Dallas area. Upon researching his heritage, he and his family learned of the needs of the tribal community and have poured countless hours into personally researching, visiting, collecting items, speaking with tribal members, and sponsoring several young men. Questions? Contact [email redacted]
- Marilyn Doyle
- Jane Broyles
- Jimmy Pryor
- Ray Hernandez
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