In December, members of the Native Waters on Arid Lands (NWAL) COVID-19 Working Group organized a donation drive for several Alaskan Native communities that have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, supplying them with essential non-food items such as cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, and winter clothing for children.
The need for these supplies was brought to the attention of the COVID-19 Working Group by Clarence Daniel, who joined one of NWAL’s weekly Zoom calls in December. Daniel described the situation faced by several villages in his region, which are located off-road in very remote areas outside of Bethel in southwestern Alaska. These villages were experiencing COVID-19 positivity rates of over 50% with villages in lockdown and schools and jobs closed. Emergency food supplies were being provided by the Food Bank of Alaska, but families from the villages were in need of a number of non-food items, and members of the COVID-19 Working Group immediately activated their personal and professional networks to help.
We would like to thank everyone who donated, including:
• Desert Research Institute scientists (Reno and Las Vegas)
• Rotary Clubs from Tahoe, Park City, Utah, North Dakota, Maine, and others from around the country
• Corcoran Global Living real estate agents
• League of Women Voters of Harvard, MA
• Friends and family members of Maureen McCarthy