Fighting For Healthy Family’s in Wanblee

The fight for health is not over on the Pine Ridge Reservation. A recent COVID-19 outbreak has left families in dire need of supplies to sanitize and disinfect their homes. Our Program Partner Thedna Z. facilitated an emergency supply distribution through Native American Aid’s (NAA) Disaster Relief service. NAA is a program of Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA). Connie of the Oglala Sioux Tribe brought home essential items to keep her family healthy. In addition to cleaning products, residents received face masks, hand sanitizer, and a case of water. Connie expressed her gratitude for the latter, saying, “We could use the bottles because we don’t trust the drinking water – it tastes like iron.”

Fighting for Healthy Families in Wanblee

The fight for health is not over on the Pine Ridge Reservation. A recent COVID-19 outbreak has left families in dire need of supplies to sanitize and disinfect their homes. Our Program Partner Thedna Z. facilitated an emergency supply distribution through Native American Aid’s (NAA) Disaster Relief service. NAA is a program of Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA).

In Wanblee, South Dakota, 40-year-old Connie picked up supplies for her family. She and her husband have six kids from age 5 to age 21, all living at home. Connie shared that she’s scared of COVID-19 and that her family takes several precautions to avoid getting sick. She told us, “We still take our shoes off at the door, we restrict where the kids are, and we go through wipes and cleaning supplies.” Thankfully, no one in Connie’s family has contracted the virus.

Native Americans have been found to experience higher rates of chronic health conditions like diabetes and lower respiratory diseases, putting them at a greater risk for COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and even death.

Thanks to NAA donors, Connie brought home essential items to keep her family healthy. In addition to cleaning products, residents received face masks, hand sanitizer, and a case of water. Connie expressed her gratitude for the latter, saying, “We could use the bottles because we don’t trust the drinking water – it tastes like iron.”

Connie saved gas money and time since she didn’t have to go to the store, plus an estimated $60 on supplies. She explained, “That’s money we don’t have, so yeah, this really helps us out a lot. We are grateful for it – so thankful.” Connie’s husband financially supports his family as a day labor supervisor. They have $540 a week to pay bills and support an eight-person household. That’s only 48% of the average weekly income for full-time workers in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Another beneficiary, 34-year-old Adrian, lives with her boyfriend and seven children, ranging in age from 1 year old to 16 years old. She estimated an even higher savings of $200 if she were to buy the items locally. She told us, “This will really help a lot, especially with high prices.”

The distribution was held at Eagle Nest College Center, where our Program Partner Thedna shared a heartfelt message, “Oh my gosh, this is an amazing opportunity for the community. We see the prices of cleaning supplies and water at the store, and people can’t always afford those. It’s amazing for the community to receive these things and take care of themselves and their families. Every little bit helps, so thank you so much for doing this.”

Your donation to NAA helps Native families like Connie’s save money to support their children. Become part of the solution in the fight against COVID-19 – a fight that’s devastating Native communities. Donate to NAA today.

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