2018 Tewa Holiday Project Wrap Up
Thanks to the heartfelt support of the Tewa Holiday Project Community, the 2018 Tewa Holiday Project was wonderful success. The outpouring from our “Community” to the Village of Tewa Community is a joy to behold. Your cash donations exceeded $16,000, over 140 brand new winter coats were delivered to First Mesa Elementary and the Village of Tewa Youth Program, over 250 hand knit hats were given out to Tewa Youths and Elders, and over 180 wrapped gifts were delivered to Tewa children at the Village of Tewa Christmas party.
This year we served 90 Tewa Elders. With your cash donations and the help of our partners Mike and Donna Newcomb at Manzanita Outreach, we were able to bring more needed supplies to the Tewa Elders than ever before. If you have not been involved with putting together the “baskets” or the delivery to Tewa it is hard to imagine how much we are able to bring to each Tewa Elder. It literally takes 5 or more of our volunteers to get a Tewa Elder and their “basket” out to their waiting car. This year we provided each Tewa Elder with a 15 lb. turkey, 10 lbs. of potatoes, 5 lbs. of carrots, 10 lbs. of apples, 10 lbs. of oranges, 10 lbs. of pinto beans, a blanket, three Ikea bags and two banker boxes of food stuffs, canned goods and personal items. In addition, from Mazanita Outreach each Tewa Elder received 10 complete packaged meals that included rice and beans, dehydrated vegetables with essential mineral and vitamins and a 15-pound box of food from the St. Mary’s Food Bank.
A record number of “Tewa Travelers” as I call them, made the trek to First Mesa this year. With the precision of a military campaign, the tons of bulk food, 270 Ikea bags, 180 banker boxes, 20 coolers of turkeys, boxes of blankets, and gently used clothing were strategically placed around the large Tewa Center room in what was just a matter of minutes. We were blessed with warm words of gratitude from a number of Tewa Elders and the delivery was begun. About 75 of the 90 Tewa Elders were present to pick up their “baskets” and the balance were delivered over the next couple of days by the Tewa Community Staff.
Afterwards our volunteers were treated to lunch at a host family with what was considered by most as the best ever. I was asked repeatedly if I had the names and address of the host families which I was able to get from Valerie Nuvayestewa, the Tewa Elder Coordinator so here they are:
Alberta Adams-P.O. Box 607 Polacca, AZ 86042
Ginger Enote-P.O. Box 709 Polacca, AZ 86042
Eva Nuvayestewa- P.O. Box 637 Polacca, AZ 86042
Ernestine Goldtooth-P.O. Box 422 Polacca, AZ 86042
Berdina Polacca-P.O. Box 988 Polacca, AZ 86042
Betsy Koopee-P.O. Box 885 Polacca, AZ 86042
Rondina Huma- P.O. Box 667 Polacca , AZ 86042
Lela Youvella- P.O. Box 342, Polacca, AZ 86042
The Tewa Holiday Project is a community event and cannot be accomplished without many hours of volunteer service with special recognition to the following in no particular order: Paul Favorite,, Andy Smoak, Peter Fagan,, Sandy Immerso, The Hat Ladies: Bobbie Jaeger, Wendy Jacobsen, Jeannette Sasmor, Barbara Miller and Milton Crewse, Robert Hornbeck and Gary Jones, Mike and Donna Newcomb and Manzanita Outreach, Caroline Diehl and the Verde Valley School students, Mark and Christie Weprin, Dale and Rosemary Stellick and The Rosedale Hair Salon, Annie Hunter and Judy Williams and the Hummingbird House, Whole Foods, Clarke’s Market, Rob Adams, Chris Hawk, the Tewa Youth Coordinator, Mike Wise, Joel Bowers, Valerie Nuvayestewa, the Tewa Elder Coordinator., Phil Evens, owner of the perfect staging space, and of course my wife Milton Crewse. If I left your name off the list it is not intentional, the efforts of all of the volunteers is truly appreciated.
Here are links to the photos taken at the coat delivery at First Mesa Elementary and the Elder delivery at the Tewa Community Center. The smiles overwhelm me they are contagious. The innocent smiles of the children receiving their new coats and hats, the smiles of joy on the volunteers as they bring the boxes and bags into the Tewa Center and when shepparding their Elder to their car and the smiles of gratitude on the Tewa Elders when we say good bye as their baskets are loaded in the car, all truly invoke the true meaning of the Christmas Season.