Fueling Support for Elders Through Severe Winter Weather

Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) serves many Native communities dispersed throughout the country, and none experience a harsher winter than those on the Northern Plains. For these communities, winter brings with it not only frigid temperatures, but severe wind chills and storms that can damage power lines and lead to outages, contaminate water sources, and leave many families displaced from their homes.

Amplifying the hardship, winter in the Northern Plains can last up to seven months — with the first snow often seen in October and the last in early May. In the later months of winter, many Native American Elders living on fixed incomes struggle to stay warm. When money for fuel has run out, some Elders may have to make the difficult choice of buying winter fuel or food.

PWNA’s Northern Plains Reservation Aid (NPRA) and Southwest Reservation Aid (SWRA) programs work diligently to ensure a safer winter for Elders who require additional assistance for heating. Donations to the NPRA winter fuel program help provide firewood and winter fuel vouchers. Bulk donations of basic winter essentials like blankets, coats, hats, gloves and socks can also help, as these are often in short supply in the most remote and geographically isolated reservations of the Northern Plains.

In recent years, PWNA and NPRA delivered winter warmth to Elders of the Crow Creek, Lower Brule and Rosebud reservations in South Dakota. For 2018, PWNA is providing firewood and winter fuel vouchers to Elders on the Rosebud Reservation. Although most of the Elders in this community use electricity, propane and firewood use is increasing as more residents seek ways to warm their homes.

If you want to help Native American Elders stay safe and warm, join PWNA and NPRA by donating or sharing on social as we spread the warmth this winter.

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