Giving Tuesday: Three Reasons to Remember Native Americans

With so much going on this time of year, it’s easy to overlook the needs of those around us. Giving Tuesday, recognized on Nov. 27, marks the charitable start of the holiday season, following two of the busiest shopping days of the year – Black Friday and Cyber Monday – as well as national Native American Heritage Day. Giving Tuesday reminds us to give back to others through charities, organizations and events this holiday season.

Nonprofit programs go to great lengths to provide humanitarian aid and fill the gaps not being met by the government or for-profit industry. They do everything from providing services to the disabled to giving shelter to the homeless to supporting education and food banks.

For PWNA, Giving Tuesday is a reminder of gratitude for caring donors and their support for Native American families in need. With less than one percent of charitable giving going toward Native causes, I join PWNA in encouraging you to remember Native Americans in your holiday giving this year. While there are many reasons to give back to Native peoples, here are three important ones:

  1. Education: Programs that support Native students, such as the American Indian Education Fund (AIEF), are essential to ensuring Native youth have access to college funding so they can better their lives and improve the quality of life in their communities. Without scholarship funding, many Native students would be unable to attend college. In fact, lack of access to higher education is one of the biggest issues facing many Native communities today.
  2. Joblessness: Many reservation communities are small and remote and don’t have enough jobs for community members, so families face hard times. Those who find themselves in this situation are often unable to relocate yet are still in need of food, clothing and other basics and this is often more stressful around the holidays. PWNA has programs that provide aid in the form of food and clothing, as well as disaster relief, holiday stockings and supplies for animal care and rescue.
  3. Cultural Preservation: There are more than 500 federally recognized tribes in the U.S. (and many more not federally recognized), and some of them are at risk of losing their cultural Identity. Nonprofits such as PWNA and others provide supplies and resources to assist Native programs that are nurturing and preserving indigenous cultural traditions, history and languages. This is critical to keeping our history alive, strengthening our cultural identities, and promoting healthy Native communities.

This year, don’t let your holiday giving default to the usual suspects. Instead, we hope you’ll give to Native-serving charities such as PWNA that support the impoverished communities here in our own country. Participating in Giving Tuesday is the perfect time to remember Native Americans. You can make a gift today at www.nativepartnership.org/pwnagivingtuesday.

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