When we started sharing with Hopis and Navajos the relationship between home environment and occupant health, and empowering them to make their homes safer, we soon encountered families where the resources required to remedy their problem were far greater than the family could assemble on their own. This is why we developed the Native Home Resource Network (NHRN). This program allows us to help families assemble the missing resources that are needed to solve their own home health and safety repairs.
The assistance we provided the Lomabalaquihoya family last winter is a good example of how the program works. Carolyn and Robert had taken our DIY Home Weatherization workshop and received a home weatherization kit that included a CO alarm which they installed. A few months later a cracked coal stove caused poisonous fumes to fill their single room home. Luckily their CO alarm woke Carolyn who was able to awake the other family members and everyone was able to escape safely. Desperately in need of a new stove, Red Feather called around looking for discounts on stoves and created a crowd funding campaign which many of you contributed to. Carolyn and Robert donated several pieces of their magnificent artwork for us to use as thank you gifts and raffle prizes in their fundraising efforts and to help other families. With a discount from Roof Dancers, a Flagstaff stove retailer and installer, and money raised from the crowd funding campaign, the Lomabalaquihoyas had a new energy efficient pellet stove installed before the end of winter.
This year Red Feather donated 100% of the proceeds we earned from Arizona Gives Day donations to Lilly Miller, a Navajo elder and Vietnam Veteran’s widow, who is trying to build a new home for her and her family, who are currently living in an old trailer without electricity or running water. Thanks to your donations and the help of a volunteer carpenter who used only a hand saw and a hammer, Lilly has the walls up on her new home. Red Feather continues to help her fundraising efforts to hopefully get a roof, doors and windows installed before the year is over.
Belva Ann Starkey, a Hopi elder from Sipaulovi Village, suffered severe roof damage in a storm. We are assisting her with assembling the resources she needs to get her roof repaired. So far we have mounted a fundraising campaign and are in discussions with Belva’s church and Hopi tribal agencies who may have some funding to help.
Click here to help Belva with a new roof
Through this program we also were able to connect volunteers and funding from Wells Fargo, Home Depot, BNSF Railway, Assist to Independence, and a group of students from University of Missouri to Navajo families in need of accessibility ramps. With their collective help and the help of Navajo Department of Veterans Affairs’ Western Agency, Tuba City Chapter and a number of hired local carpenters, we built 9 accessibility ramps.
We continue to receive far more requests than we can fulfill and have a growing waiting list of families needing help. Despite our inability to help every family, for those that only need a little assistance, we have been able to help many by loaning tools, connecting them with donated materials, or providing counseling on funding or referring professional resources.
We are very grateful to have the funding and support of Sunwest Bank Foundation and Wells Fargo to allow us to deliver this program. And we are very honored to have just been awarded a $35K grant from Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco through the sponsorship and support of Mohave State Bank. The funding from these large financial institutions, which have high standards to receive funding, is the result of our having designed this program with the help of the communities being served, and funders seeing the direct impact it is having.
Wells Fargo volunteers present a check to Red Feather for $15,000 to build ramps for Navajo disabled and elders.
Nearly one hundred Hopi tribal employees and community members came out to support their local non-profits at the first ever Hopi Gives Day event in the Village of Kykotsmovi, Arizona on Friday. Red Feather and 2 other non-profit organizations, The Hopi Foundation, and Hopi Education Endowment Fund partnered to host the event to raise awareness about their programs and an annual state-wide fundraising competition that we are participating in called Arizona Gives Day.
It is exciting to see our Hopi non-profits collaborating to raise awareness and donations, said The Hopi Foundation’s Executive Director, Monica Nuvamsa. “We can do so much more when we work together”, she added.
The event was held at the Kykotsmovi Community Building and included door prizes, food, music from local musician Ed Kabotie, and information from the 3 non-profits about their programs. Chairman of the Hopi Tribe, Herman Honanie, was in attendance and sent an email to all tribal government employees that day encouraging them to support their local non-profits who are participating in Arizona Gives Day.
Arizona Gives Day, which falls on April 4th this year, has raised over $7.4 million for Arizona nonproﬁts since 2013. Arizona non-profits, which account for 325,000 jobs and nearly 10% of the state’s annual income, are competing for cash prizes totaling $175,000 this year.
“We are grateful to our partners APS, Hopi Cultural Center, Hopi Kokopelli Inn, and Hopi Telecommunications for sponsoring the event,” said HEEF Executive Director LuAnn Leonard. She continued, “Non-profits, businesses, and community members all working together is a beautiful thing that strengthens our collective ability to answer the needs of our people.
While Arizona Gives Day is intended to benefit Arizona non-profits, all Red Feather supporters are encouraged to participate because stronger programs serving Hopis and Navajos in Arizona will allow us to more quickly bring those programs to Tribes in other states.
Red Feather realizes that many of you recently made gifts during our annual appeal. If you are able to make a gift at this time, it would be very much appreciated. If you aren’t, we understand, and ask that you please consider sharing our work with a friend so that they might become involved. Our strength is dependent upon sharing the load. You and your friends can make gifts on or before April 4th at azgives.org.
You can always give to Red Feather at www.redfeather.org.
By Mark Hall