More major relief efforts
There have been dozens of efforts over the past three months to offer relief and support for those who are suffering. It has been heartwarming to see.
The groups have worked in public and in private at a time of great need.
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Just this week, a group of about 50 pilots in privately-owned small aircraft will converge on San Juan County to deliver PPE, food, learning aids, and other supplies.
The materials have been gathered from the Utah Bar Association – Indian Law Division, Juvenile Justice System, Division of Child and Family Services, and other smaller private groups.
The pilots are mostly from the Wasatch Front, but are also from California, Colorado, and Texas. They are affiliated with a group called Backcountry Santa at BackCountrySanta.org.
Flights will go to Blanding for aircraft unable to land on dirt strips, and then more capable back country aircraft will shuttle loads to Montezuma Creek and Navajo Mountain to be distributed through channels coordinated with Utah Navajo Health Systems.
These pilots and airplanes are privately owned and operated, and any donation funds or goods received are going to those in need.
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In our cover story last week on the distribution of hundreds of live sheep to Navajo families through the Farmers Feeding Utah program, we failed to mention the tremendous work of Rebecca Benally.
“Farmers Feeding Utah” is a collaboration between farmers and ranchers and needy families. The group’s first project focused on the Navajo Nation in San Juan County, which has been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Benally helped coordinate the distribution of the sheep and eloquently explained that the gift of live sheep is particularly important for this project.
Benally helped coordinate the delivery of the sheep on Memorial Day from her home south of Montezuma Creek. A long stretch of vehicles stretched in the distance, with grateful families lined up for the sheep and flour.
An additional distribution of live sheep took place on the western portions of the county on June 1.
You can learn more at FarmersFeedingUtah.org.