Many caring Presbyterian Women have used their time at home during the pandemic to make face masks, distributing them wherever they determine there is a need—hospitals, nursing homes, frontline workers, underserved communities, firefighters, and more.
Holly Haile Davis, Native American member of the PC(USA)’s Racial Equity Advocacy Committee, says the need for masks for the Navajo Nation continues. Several weeks ago, the Navajo Nation put out a call for cloth and fabric masks, in addition to other items. Visit the Navajo Nation’s Relief Fund page for a current list of needs.
Bonnie Thompson, moderator of PW in the Synod of the Southwest, works alongside Native American communities in her synod. She is currently working with the Tohono O’odham Nation (near Tucson) and the Apache and Hopi tribes in central Arizona to help them meet their needs for masks to protect against COVID-19. Bonnie believes there will be an ongoing need for masks, given the current rise of COVID-19 cases in Arizona and New Mexico. She has graciously agreed to be the point of contact for women who desire to make and send masks to those in need in the Synod of the Southwest. Those interested may contact Bonnie.
PW recommends that synods and presbyteries wishing to partner with other Native American nations in their areas contact tribal offices to ask whether they need masks, then make and send masks directly to them as needed. The larger nations have health departments, which could be points of contact for those asking about the need for masks. Those in synods without Native American nations are encouraged to work with a synod that does.
And don’t hesitate to ask community centers, food kitchens and other community service organizations in your area whether they are distributing masks, and where there are needs.