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Thank you for your contributions to the White Mountain Apache Tribe Appeal
Thank you St. Luke’s for your amazing contribution to the White Mountain Apache Tribe Appeal!
“What a Godsend this email is, we have been praying for help and you have come to our aid. Thanks!” This note was sent to Canon Debbie Royals, leader of our Diocesan Native American Ministries, by Gwendena Lee-Gatewood, Chairwoman of the White Mountain Apache Tribe.
The tribe was reporting that roughly 1 in 10 of the tribe’s approximately 15,000 members have been infected with COVID-19. The urgent needs of the people were non-perishable food items, cleaning products, and water. “We have serious water shortages during the summer months. Sometimes there is no water at all for showers and basic drinking water needs,” said Lee-Gatewood.
When Canon Royals notified us at St. Luke’s of the problems we went to work. We only had a few days to organize and get our supplies to Good Shepherd of the Hills in Cave Creek. But what would happen was something quite extraordinary.
Father Pierre-Henry, who was on vacation, gave us permission to contact the entire church membership by email and Lauree Birchmeier got a note into the Epistle almost immediately. On last Wednesday, Larry Neece and I showed up at church in the morning to help unload the items people brought in and then to load the truck. I hadn’t any real idea as to the quantity that might appear and I originally thought it all might fit into my SUV (as it were, not a chance!) but Neil Patton had called after reading his email and offered to arrive at noon with his monster truck and trailer. Ladies and gentlemen, we completely filled Neil’s rig with things so badly needed.
You may remember that last Wednesday was a hot day, and when we arrived in Cave Creek, it was 116 degrees. There were some boys from the youth group at Good Shepherd who helped us unload, then invited us to share their pizza lunch! It just does not get any better than that.
Beside the goods so urgently needed, the amount of funds received was overwhelming and there is a substantial amount left in our account. We will be contacting Gwendena soon to decide how to best use the money.