Local drive for Navajo Nation hopes to supply basic necessities and a bit of fun

FAR WEST TEXAS — Indigenous communities like the Navajo Nation have been greatly affected by coronavirus, having some of the highest rates of COVID-19 in the country. While there have been many supply drives for these communities, Alpine resident Ariana Vega says some families live in more remote areas where supplies and donations have not yet reached them.

Vega has family who live on the Navajo reservation, which inspired her to get in touch with community leaders there to coordinate a local supply drive in the Big Bend area. Homesteads are far apart on the reservation, and some residents there do not have vehicles to access resource distributions when they do happen. This drive aims to deliver basic supplies to remote homesteaders, along with a few fun items. With many events, markets and pow wows cancelled this summer, kids there are stuck at home and looking for something to do.

“We’re currently collecting art supplies for youth on the reservation and basic necessities for elders and families from now until July 11,” Vega said. She will take supplies collected from Big Bend donors and drop them off on the reservation this month.

Desired donations include hand sanitizer, hand soap, face masks, disinfecting wipes or sprays, baby wipes, diapers and baby formula, acrylic and watercolor paint, paint brushes, colored pencils, markers, sketchbooks and small canvases.

Donation drop offs are located in front of Mira Marfa around the clock (in the alley behind the Wrong Store) and at Cedar Coffee Supply in Alpine from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Saturday.