Guest Author - Rev. Jackie O´Neal S.T.M.
I recently researched a non-profit which would be a great fit for persons concerned about the plight of the elderly and also of Native Americans. Being of Native American roots myself, and also committed to caring for the elderly, the background story of Adopt-an-Elder resonated deeply with me.
The program originally founded by artist, Linda Meyers, is built upon the Native American spirit of the Giveaway Circle. The Giveaway Circle teaches the art of giving valuable items while divesting one’s attachment to the item. For example, one can give of one’s time to help others, or give a treasured item as such as jewelry, or a hand-woven rug, food, supplies and so on.
Linda Meyers, the Founder became inspired to launch Adopt-A Native-- Elder after visiting a rug show displaying Navajo [Dine] weavings created by the Elders of Northern Arizona.
Bearing in mind the cost of yarn and equipment needed to create the art work, Meyers envisioned a program that through the spirit of the Giveaway Circle would donate much needed supplies, in order for the Elders to continue in the artful tradition of weaving without hardship.
The program supports Elders who live according to the spiritual and cultural traditions of the Dine people and works together with donors to provide food, medicine, clothing, supplies for weaving and other crafts, in order to help the Elders live on the land completely in their traditional lifestyle.
There are several options in terms of ways to give and support the Elders as they continue in the spiritual and cultural tradition of their ancestors. For example, Feather For the Forgotten, one of the programs, dedicates its mission to helping Elders who have medical issues and very special needs. Very often these Elders are not able to care for themselves and in some cases may be residing in nursing homes, yet they require assistance in terms of supplies such as walkers, canes, and personal care items.
Adopt-a Native Elder program receives a high- rating in terms of how efficiently it functions as a non-profit, so as an added benefit to getting involved in the mission as a donor, persons can rest assured their dollars are being used effectively to enhance the work of the program.
The notion that while the Elders have the freedom through Adopt-a Native-Elder program, to enjoy a lifestyle centered around their cultural and spiritual traditions, they also enjoy the freedom to pass those traditions on to future generations of Dine- all in the Spirit of the Giveaway Circle.
For more information, Visit: http://www.anelder.org