I want to start out with providing the links to the photos taken at the delivery for the Tewa Elders and the Coats4Kids at First mesa Elementary so here they are:
This was the 13th year of the Tewa Holiday Project. The Tewa Holiday project has grown over the years from providing “baskets” for 20 Tewa Elders to an event that provides $15,000 worth of food and personal items for 85 Tewa Elders, 170 brand new coats for every child at First Mesa Elementary and over 150 brand new wrapped toys for the Tewa Community children, totaling well over $25,000. All from the generosity, compassion and support from folks in the Verde Valley and across the country. Truly I am humbled and brought to tears when I reflect on it.
Consider the volunteer hours that I can add up that took place in the last week before the delivery: Verde Valley School volunteers 25 hours, this does not include untold hours put in by Caroline Diehl for the Coats4Kids, 15 hours by Mike and Nick Wise and Joel Bowers bringing the Walmart food to the staging area, 24 hours by Sandy Immerso, Jan and Roy Reimer and Gary Jones staging the inventory to be put into the bags and boxes, 70 hours putting the bags and boxes together, 15 hours loading the vehicles, 240 hours by upwards of 80 volunteers who made the delivery trip. That is 370 volunteer hours in the last week alone, I know I am being very conservative and I have no idea of the countless other hours put into making the Tewa Holiday Project the success that it is. This success is accomplished by YOU the volunteers!
This year we served 85 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 image how much we are able to bring to each Tewa Elder and the Tewa Community. 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, 25 lbs. of pinto beans, a blanket, two Ikea bags, one Bashas bag and two banker boxes of food stuffs, canned goods and personal items. In addition, from Mazanita Outreach each Tewa Elder received 9 complete packaged meals that included rice and beans, dehydrated vegetables with essential mineral and vitamins .
A record number of “Tewa Travelers” as I call them, made the trek to First Mesa this year. With the precision of the UCLA marching band, the tons of bulk food, 170 Ikea bags, 170 banker boxes, 85 Bashas bags, 20 coolers of turkeys, boxes of blankets, and gently used clothing were strategically placed around the large Tewa Center room, in what seemed 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. 79 of the 85 Tewa Elders were present to pick up their “baskets” and the balance were delivered over the next couple of days by the Tewa Community Center Staff.
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: Wendy Jacobsen, Jeannette Sasmor, Chriti Bulot, Christina Lambert and Milton Crewse; Robert Hornbeck and Gary Jones, Mike and Donna Newcomb and Manzanita Outreach, Benny Serpas and the volunteers from New Acropolis, Caroline Diehl and the students from Verde Valley School, Mark and Christie Weprin, Dale and Rosemary Stellick and The Rosedale Hair Salon, Annie Hunter and Judy Williams and the Hummingbird House, Whole Foods Sedona Store, Clarkes Market, Rob Adams, Mike Wise, Nick Wise, Joel Bowers, Phil Evans, owner of perfect the 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.
Thank you all for making the 13th year of the Tewa Holiday Project the unique and inspiring event that it is,
Tewa Holiday Project