My name is Terry Smith, and I am the newest member of Team Red Feather. The last four months have been exhilarating, and the joy our clients have expressed to us has been genuinely inspiring.
As Program Director for Red Feather, my responsibility is to develop and implement the organization’s programs, assess needs, and ensure the program's objectives are met on time. I enjoy many facets of my job, but what I love most about my position is that it's more than a job; it is an opportunity to change lives. My job allows me to embark on a mission to help those who need help, and, at times, fight for those who cannot fight for themselves; especially when they face the overwhelming task of working through the many levels of government bureaucracy that encumber tribal life.
At the beginning of 2019, Red Feather's challenges were self-evident, with an abundance of families contacting us requesting assistance with home repairs. By leveraging our various resources, we were able to impact the lives of 356 Hopi and Navajo tribal members this year. We are particularly pleased to have the continued capacity to assist our elderly, veterans, and disabled tribal members. One such service was in the construction of 10 accessibility ramps. In 2020, we hope to double or triple this number.
With winter upon us, creating healthy, warm homes is one of our top priorities. We are excited to report that our heating education workshop program has been well received, classroom participation was robust and inquisitive. Over the course of three workshops we had a total of 49 students, which ultimately will impact the life of 196 family members. Our newest pilot program, the installation of solar furnaces, appears to be very promising at improving indoor air quality and reducing the burden of expensive utility bills. Red Feather runs public service announcements in print and on the radio, highlighting the importance of chimney inspections and regular stove maintenance. With many families switching to wood, due to the disappearance of coal, the risk of chimney fires has increased dramatically due to creosote build-up.
As our programs continue to expand, it is our hope that we can build upon our ability to infuse more resources back into the community economies, by hiring more Hopi and Navajo contractors and supporting more local businesses and vendors.
Red Feather Development Group is stronger than ever, due to our continually expanding community, whose members come together to donate time, resources and talent in support of our essential mission. Without our core group of community partners, donors and volunteers, our task to expand our work would be difficult indeed. It is a wonderful feeling to know at the end of the day, we made a difference; what we do here on the Hopi and Navajo reservations matters. It is our hope at Red Feather that we are laying the groundwork for a better future for those we serve.
We give hope to those that have been forgotten, we uplift those who may be discouraged, and it is my hope that we provide light to those who sit alone in darkness. In a word, our work here at Red Feather is designed and dedicated to giving a person - or a family, "hope" for a better tomorrow.
Every day is a new beginning to make a difference in the lives of the elderly, homeless, disabled, and those who have fallen through the cracks. Our goal is to create a healthy home, and, in so doing, we can stabilize the home and in turn, strengthen the family as a whole.
Someone once said that to be truly successful in what you do, you must have a passion for your work. I genuinely believe it is our collective passion at Red Feather that will allow us to continue to be truly successful in changing lives going forward.
2501 North 4th St., Suite 17
Flagstaff, AZ 86004