Summer Care Packages Help Native Elders Combat Harsh Southwest Realities

The scorching desert sun, substandard housing without air conditioning and a lack of safe drinking water are just a few of the hazardous conditions faced by Native American Elders living on rural reservation lands each summer.

Life on remote reservations can be harsh. Jobs are scarce and grocery stores and health care are often hours away. During the Southwest summers, severe heat, drought and fires mean many cannot leave their homes for months at a time.

Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) supports reservations that deal with frequent environmental disasters such as floods, blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes and hurricanes. Wildfires such as the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fires recently making their way toward Picuris Pueblo in New Mexico spread at an alarming and dangerous rate. Some reservation communities also experience acute or chronic contaminated-water emergencies.

In addition, 35-85% of Native Americans living on the reservations PWNA serves are jobless, and Elders often care for their grandchildren — struggling to meet their own needs and the needs of little ones.

In the face of these conditions, PWNA is preparing emergency shipments of Summer Care Packages. Filled to the brim with necessities like first aid supplies, personal care items, baby supplies, batteries, water and nonperishable food, these packages can be a lifeline for Native American Elders.  

These Summer Care Packages are part of PWNA’s Emergency Services offerings. PWNA provides other seasonal services for Native Elders and is quick to respond with disaster relief for the tribes in and beyond our normal service area. You can donate here to help ensure Native Elders can withstand the harsh realities of summer in the Southwest.

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