GOOD SAM GIVES BACK TO THE NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH AND FAMILY CENTER
The Holiday Season is upon us and while it is so exciting to start stocking up on the sales of the year, we believe it is an important time to pause, reflect, and find ways to give back to the community. While November brings turkey dinners, family and friend gatherings, it is also the month dedicated to Native American Heritage. We, as non-Natives who enjoy the outdoors, should take the time to learn how and why The Native American and Indigenous communities enrich our lives through their traditions, culture, and history.
“Every year, we lose around 18 million acres of forests. That’s the equivalent of 27 soccer fields every minute,” according to the World Wildlife Fund. These forests are home to much of the world’s biodiversity, and many are preserved by Native tribes. These communities are rooted in protecting land, water, the environment, and animals, which is why it is so imperative that we do MORE to make sure we can provide resources to support their efforts and find ways to assist in them.
We are excited to have started a partnership with Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) who strives to fulfill its mission to enhance the diverse strengths of their youth and families in partnership with the community through cultural identity and education. As an urban Indian agency, NAYA Family Center impacts the lives of over 10,000 individuals from over 380 tribal backgrounds annually in the Portland Metro Area.
Of the many programs NAYA provides, Micah Johnson, member of Confederated Tribes of The Umatilla Indian Reservation and NAYA Recreation Coordinator, helped identify some of the immediate needs for the organization. They have a ton of youth that come through their doors every year so essentials for outdoor and indoor recreations fly out of their storage areas.
With this in mind, we headed to Walmart Superstore and did some work stacking carts piled high with any shirts, rain boots, headphones, jackets, mesh shorts, gloves, socks, water bottles, rain jackets, and hats.
This donation drop off is just the beginning of this partnership with NAYA. We are excited to explore other opportunities to support their community throughout the year and find ways to encourage outdoor exploration while integrating cultural arts led by their team!
“We are grateful for this partnership and hopeful that we can put together a camping or hiking experience for our kids in the beginning of next year,” Micah shared with excitement. “A lot of our students have yet to camp, so it would be fun to create an opportunity that encourages them to get outside and do so!”