Winter warmth means less hardship for Native American Elders

Harsh winters in the Northern Plains bring bitter cold, severe wind chills and damaging storms that often lead to power outages, water outages or water contamination, and displacement of Elders, families and children. Amplifying this, 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.

As a result of these extremely long winters, the energy assistance funds of Pine Ridge, Rosebud and other Northern Plains reservations tend to be exhausted a month or two before winter is over. This hardship is most deeply felt by the Elders, who are more susceptible to winter risks and expenses.

To help ensure winter warmth for these Elders, our Northern Plains Reservation Aid (NPRA), a program of Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA), supplements their winter funding with winter fuel vouchers. Last year, we were honored to help Hilda, a 99-year-old Native American Elder and grandmother living in the Fort Thompson community on the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota. Hilda received a winter fuel voucher from us, which helped fill the propane tank to heat her home and helped her through a very long winter.

Like Hilda, many other Elders also need winter fuel assistance. You can help us warm up their winters and keep them safe from winter risk by donating to PWNA’s Winter Warmth Drive today. Every gift and social share helps.

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