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Rehoboth Christian School partners with Navajo Christian Response Team

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School becomes supply distribution center

As the COVID-19 pandemic maintains its grasp on the world, people around the Navajo Nation still face a dire need for supplies, whether as a result of living far away from grocery stores or not having reliable transportation to reach them.

Numerous groups have stepped up to help those most in need, particularly elders or people who cannot travel easily, by distributing supplies to them at a spot closer to home. The Navajo Nation Christian Response Team is one of those groups, and they have partnered with Rehoboth Christian School to provide relief across the reservation.

The NNCRT is working with churches, the Office of the President and Vice President, and local community health representatives to gather supplies and distribute them, according to Kevin Ruthven, of Rehoboth Christian School.

“When COVID first hit the area, President [Jonathan] Nez was speaking with churches that wanted to help and wanted to make sure they could provide areas where there would be a low risk of cross-contamination with supplies,” Ruthven said May 27.

Having designated distribution centers across the reservation would also help with accountability of the donations, he added.

For the past two months, teams like NNCRT have been performing these supply runs.

“We’ve been collecting all kinds of non-perishable and perishable items, like food, diapers, and cleaning supplies,” Ruthven said. “We have people at Rehoboth who are putting care packages together to distribute across the eastern agencies.”

As of May 27, NNCRT had sent out over 2,000 care packages.

Ruthven said they have also been working with the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President to prepare items for their distribution areas, including recent donations of 12,000 pounds of potatoes, and packages of water that are given to the local community health reps, who then make sure the supplies are given to the people who need them the most.

“We’re also putting smaller care packages together that we’re able to get out to hotels that have COVID patients that are being brought back from hospitals,” Ruthven said.

Both groups also recently supplied local law enforcement during the weeklong lockdown of Gallup. About 20,000 pounds of oranges were given out to people, including Navajo Nation Police, the National Guard, and the New Mexico State Police.

As the relief efforts continue, NNCRT is continuing to accept donations. Ruthven said interested parties can reach out to the Navajo Nation Christian Response Team’s Facebook page.

“People are more than welcome to give,” he said.

For more information on the NNCRT relief efforts, visit https://www.facebook.com/nncrteam.

By Cody Begaye
Sun Correspondent