E-Edition

Sanpete donates generously to Navajo reservation

Liz Clawson is surrounded by the growing piles of items generously donated to help the Navajo Nation, during a time when their usual hardship is being made almost unbearable by the new coronavirus onslaught.

 

Sanpete donates generously

to Navajo reservation

 

By Doug Lowe 

Staff writer

5-14-2020

 

WALES—According to Liz Clawson, an active member of the LDS Church in Wales, all the credit for starting last Saturday’s donation drive to gather food and supplies to help her beleaguered people on the Navajo Reservation in southeastern Utah should go to Moroni Stake President Gene Peckham.

While not denying Clawson’s claim, Peckham was quick to point out that the leaders of at least three other LDS Stakes and some non-Mormon congregations across Sanpete County all played an important part in making the donation drive a much bigger success than he had first envisioned.

“Liz was going to drive down to the Four Corners towing an enclosed toy hauler trailer,” said Peckham. “But, now I can see we are going to need a semi.”

As Peckham spoke, pickup truck after pickup truck continued to arrive from various parts of Sanpete carrying loads of donated items to add to the collection. Supplies accumulated in the large three-bay building where Clawson Excavation usually parks some of its biggest pieces of rolling stock.

By that point, it has been less than an hour after the Saturday noon deadline for dropping off contributed items at various chapels around the county. Most of the donors were members of the church where they dropped off their contribution, though for weeks they had been unable to go inside to worship.

When Clawson was photographed standing in front of the amazing collection of donations, she admitted, “I have been crying all morning.” The tears were tears of joy; and they welled up as she saw more and more pickups and vans arriving with items, more items to help her struggling people down on the reservation.

The Navajo Nation occupies more than 25,000 square miles of land, where some 160,000 residents live with approximately one-third of them having no running water at home—at a time when frequent hand washing can be a life and death matter.

According to Jaime Rodriguez, a Moroni Stake high councilman who helped Peckham spread word of the donation drive, the lack of running water is just one hardship that has given the Navajo nation the third highest per capita rate of Covid-19 infections across the United States—behind only New York and New Jersey.

Rodriguez also points out that with only 14 or 15 grocery stores serving the entire reservation, some Navajos must drive nearly 100 miles to buy food. Now days, they often arrive, after burning precious gasoline, to find the store shelves emptied of many or even all of the things they need.

After the pandemic struck, the Navajo Nations took steps to enact an extensive lockdown, but with inadequate infrastructure and the lack of access to basic needs, the virus has been hard to contain.

Among the donations being collected at the Clawsons are all kinds of disinfecting supplies, including every imaginable Clorox product—even the hard-to-find wipes.

While not denying Clawson’s claim, Peckham was quick to point out that the leaders of at least three other LDS Stakes and some non-Mormon congregations across Sanpete County all played an important part in making the donation drive a much bigger success than he had first envisioned.

“Liz was going to drive down to the Four Corners towing an enclosed toy hauler trailer,” said Peckham. “But, now I can see we are going to need a semi.”

As Peckham spoke, pickup truck after pickup truck continued to arrive from various parts of Sanpete carrying loads of donated items to add to the collection. Supplies accumulated in the large three-bay building where Clawson Excavation usually parks some of its biggest pieces of rolling stock.

By that point, it has been less than an hour after the Saturday noon deadline for dropping off contributed items at various chapels around the county. Most of the donors were members of the church where they dropped off their contribution, though for weeks they had been unable to go inside to worship.

When Clawson was photographed standing in front of the amazing collection of donations, she admitted, “I have been crying all morning.” The tears were tears of joy; and they welled up as she saw more and more pickups and vans arriving with items, more items to help her struggling people down on the reservation.

The Navajo Nation occupies more than 25,000 square miles of land, where some 160,000 residents live with approximately one-third of them having no running water at home—at a time when frequent hand washing can be a life and death matter.

According to Jaime Rodriguez, a Moroni Stake high councilman who helped Peckham spread word of the donation drive, the lack of running water is just one hardship that has given the Navajo nation the third highest per capita rate of Covid-19 infections across the United States—behind only New York and New Jersey.

Rodriguez also points out that with only 14 or 15 grocery stores serving the entire reservation, some Navajos must drive nearly 100 miles to buy food. Now days, they often arrive, after burning precious gasoline, to find the store shelves emptied of many or even all of the things they need.

After the pandemic struck, the Navajo Nations took steps to enact an extensive lockdown, but with inadequate infrastructure and the lack of access to basic needs, the virus has been hard to contain.

Among the donations being collected at the Clawsons are all kinds of disinfecting supplies, including every imaginable Clorox product—even the hard-to-find wipes.