This is the hardest time of year for Native Americans living on the Reservations in South Dakota. On top of struggling to have food on their table, a bed to sleep in at night and many more obstacles to deal with, they now have to worry about keeping warm throughout the brutal winter, which can last until May. Most homes on the Reservations have paper thin walls with little or no insulation, leaky roofs or plywood for windows and doors. So, you can imagine what it must feel like inside their house when the temperatures are below zero and the winds make it feel ten times colder. When it does get that cold, staying warm is more than a matter of comfort, for Native American elders, children and other vulnerable people on the Reservations, staying warm might be a matter of life and death. And unless you have lived through winter on a South Dakota Reservation, it’s hard for me to explain how brutally cold it gets.
Today I am appealing to you to help NAHA provide heating in the homes of families with small children or elders. The extreme cold is tough on everyone. Even a few moments of exposure to sub-zero temperatures can cause frostbite. Whipping winds and snow can make for dangerous whiteout conditions. And when there’s no money to buy heating fuel and no furniture left to burn, not even a Reservation home is a safe place. As part of our 2023 Operation Winter Rescue Program, we have set up an emergency voucher account with a local energy company so families on the Reservations can get propane free of charge and keep their homes at a survivable temperature. A special arrangement with the Country Pride Co- Op allows us to fill one Native American family’s home heating tank for about $500.
Won’t you make a donation today that will be combined with other donations and help put warmth into a Native American’s home. Any amount you can donate will be greatly appreciated. This winter has been more than extreme on the Reservations we serve. Every week they are experiencing snow storms, ice, whipping winds and negative degree temperatures. Some of the places we deliver to on the Reservations is just now getting dug out of a snowstorm from a week ago and we haven’t been able to deliver to them, so you can see why this is urgent!
If you have a friend or family member wanting to donate to a charity but are not sure who they want to donate to, please share our information with them and tell them to visit www.charitynavigator.org to learn more about our 18th year as a 4-star charity with Charity Navigator. Don’t forget that 97% of our total budget goes towards our program services. We also accept gently used clothing, blankets, personal care items, etc. You may ship those to our warehouse at: NAHA- 12085 Quaal Rd., Black Hawk, SD 57718. Thank you again for all your support!!!