The Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference of the United Methodist Church is partnering with the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Clinic to collect donations for the Navajo Nation.
The Rev. David Wilson, superintendent of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, said the two organizations decided to help the Navajo Nation as it deals with a high number of COVID-19 cases per capita.
Wilson said he and other conference leaders and volunteers plan to travel on Monday to take donated items to the New Mexico United Methodist Conference in Albuquerque. From there, the items will be taken to the Four Corners Native American Ministry in Shiprock, New Mexico. Wilson said they have sent monetary donations as they arrive and recently sent $2,000 in donations.
The Navajo Nation extends into three states: Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. United Methodist News Service reported that the number of positive COVID-19 cases for the Navajo Nation had reached 4,071 and there had been 142 deaths, according to a May 18 press release from the tribe. The news service said the Navajo Nation had surpassed New York and New Jersey for the highest per-capita coronavirus infection rate in the United States, according to the most recent data at the time of its May 21 report. The news service is the official news gathering agency of the United Methodist Church.
Needed medical donations include: N95 masks, face shields, non-latex and medical-grade gloves, goggles and eye protection, surgical and isolation masks and gowns, Tyvek coveralls, surgical caps, shoe covers, thermometers, portable pulse oximeters, ventilators, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and sprays and alcohol-based wipes.
Community needs include: disposable and fabric masks, cleaning supplies, liquid hand soap, hand sanitizer, toiletries, thermometers, paper products, nonperishable food, bottled water, baby formula, diapers and wipes, livestock feed, hay, pet food, firewood and coal.
Robyn Sunday-Allen, chief executive officer of the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic, 4913 W Reno, said her medical facility has fared well throughout the pandemic and has enough personal protective equipment and other items that have become critical in the fight against COVID-19.
She and her staff wanted to help in some way so they have been been funneling funds from their “warm and fuzzy committee” to go towards purchasing donations. She said staff also has been bringing items to the clinic to be added to Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference donations. Clinic staff has mainly collected diapers, bottled water and gloves and they have ordered masks to be donated.