Happy Holidays and Thank You!
As we approach the end of this year, I am so grateful for the work PWNA is allowed to do within tribal communities. Side by side with our program partners, and supported by the incredible generosity of our donors, we are making progress toward our mission of meeting immediate needs and supporting long term solutions, and our vision of strong, self-sufficient Native American communities.
There’s a popular column in O Magazine called “This I Know For Sure.” The topic each month is something that is certain – something so deep within the author’s heart and soul that she knows it is true. I want to share with you “What I Know For Sure” about PWNA as we end this year:
- Our 250 scholarship recipients, many of them completing their first semesters in college far away from the reservations where their families live, appreciate the encouraging words and care packages they receive from PWNA – especially during final exams this month. They’ll go home for the holidays and encourage others in their tribes to stay in school and start making plans to attend college.
- 28,000 Native children across 33 reservations will soon receive huge stockings full of fun and needed items appropriate for their age range. They will know we remembered them, and they’ll laugh and smile and play.
- Nearly 12,000 Elders will receive blankets, socks, and personal care items they need to help make it through the winter. They will share what they receive with others because they understand the importance and value of giving.
- Over 2,000 holiday meals will be provided for Native Elders, families and children, and they will enjoy this nourishment while visiting with families and getting news about the community. The ingredients for these meals – ham or turkey, vegetables and pies – will be delivered by PWNA drivers to our program partners at Elder Nutrition Centers, who recruit volunteers to assist with planning, preparing, serving and cleaning up for these community-wide gatherings.
- The graduates of our 4 Directions Development Program (4D) training have become more confident and effective leaders within their communities. They’ll share the professional and personal goals they created and talk about the support and encouragement they continue to receive from others in their class and their Native American mentors, as they encourage others to participate in 4D.
I know these things for sure because I see the results of our work each time I visit a tribal community and hear about them from our partners who live and work there. PWNA’s staff, Board of Directors and partners are aligned around a mission that respects the self-determined goals and rights of tribes, as we listen and learn about the solutions that are working in their communities. “What I Know For Sure” is that PWNA is doing important work in the areas of highest need in our country and, with your continued help, we can do even more.