Reverend Betsy Stang

The Grace Fund

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The Wittenberg Center Grace Fund

For All our relations and for the generations to come.
 
Make a donation today for the children

The Grace Fund Christmas Project

Please Help the Children of the First Nations This Winter

Grace Fund Christmas Project

 Grace Smith Yellow Hammer is a Dineh (Navajo) elder, who has lost her land due to the Hopi/Navajo partition. After having spend many years in California she returned to find out her land was gone, her animals were gone, her clans were dispersed and devastated.

Grace was chosen by he elders to be the eyes, ears and voice of her people to the United Nations and to the dominant community at large. She would have liked to continue her way of life but the elders and medicine people told her, that one cannot turn down being chosen to assist the people. After years of going to the United Nations and Geneva Human Rights Forum to speak for her people the elders again asked her to help them.

Because of losing their land, and fighting to regain their land, Grace’s community lost many of their traditions and they had nothing. They did not even have toothpaste, shoes, coats, decent food. Diabetes and illness skyrocketed.. Landless, losing their territories, community roots, animals, the relocated Navajo were made refugees in their own land. The elders began to lose hope, the children had no possibilities for the future. Children who had no decent shoes, winter clothing. This winter Grace was just helping some young children who came to school without shoes or a belt to keep their pants up.

The Navajo Nation does not have funds to help these people and the social services have been cut way back to finance other US ventures

The Grace Fund Christmas project is an attempt to find decent clothing so  children can go to school or seek work, have food for elders so they don't have to chose between heat and food, and most importantly empower the people  so they might have a sense of dignity to both go out into the wider world and succeed in creating better lives for their families and communities, and to feel proud to return to the traditional crafts like weaving.

Grace cannot do this alone. She is asking for those who have much in the land  of Turtle Island to give something to help a proud people come back and have the basic resources to feed, clothe and educate their children, find meaningful work, and begin the process of restoring community.

Grace has been doing this project since 1991. Mostly on her own ,selling jewelry and weaving, with small grants from some committed individuals Grace has carries this out, despite challenges to her health and financial well being

   Last Christmas the Grace fund assisted 381 children, many of whom are being raised by single parents or grandparents.

   Last year 11 children who have been helped since they were infants have graduated from high school and have gone off to get decent jobs, and help their families in return. Grace says they are wonderful happy young people.

 Now in a time of need, we turn to you for your help and support. We come upon the time of Thanksgiving. The first nations helped the original colonists survive the harsh winter, will you return the favor?

Will you send a donation to the children of the Dineh? Will you help spread the word and tell your friends so they may have a chance to help and make a great difference?

 Tax deductible donations can be made out to The Wittenberg Center for Alternative Resources, 17 Jonet Lane, Bearsville, NY 12409. Please mark Grace Fund on the check. 100 % of the money is turned over to this project and is really used carefully and well.

 

Even if you are unable to make a donation at this time, please send a prayer and send this letter along to others who might be able to help.

 Thank you on behalf of all our relations.

 

Rev Betsy Stang

Rev James Davis

Rev Ilfra Halley

For the Mid Hudson United Religions Intitiative CC

 

We are the ones we have waited for

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.
  H H Dalai Lama