“To help Native American people improve the quality of their lives by providing opportunities for them to bring about positive changes in their communities.”
More About Our Partners
Partnership is the cornerstone of National Relief Charities. It's the most important part of what makes our charity different. We fulfill our mission by working through reservation Program Partners. The goods and services we provide help those Partners make things better for their people. The Partners know better than we do what is needed in their communities. They know how goods and services need to be delivered. They know the people and their struggles. And they know the initiatives that are underway. So NRC adapts to the way each Partner works. This approach is unique among Native American-serving charities.
NRC feels that this way of working is respectful to the Partners and the people we serve through them. We look to the Program Partners to identify the specific needs in their communities and the specific goals they're working toward. NRC supplies products, services, and program staff to support those goals and to increase community participation. The Partners oversee the delivery of the goods and services and then report to NRC on their impact.
Sometimes delivery occurs during home visits or regular attendance at health classes. Other times, delivery occurs during community distributions of food. For these larger events, the Partners recruit volunteers to ensure the distributions go smoothly and the goods reach their most needy and intended recipients. Our program staff works hand in hand with Partners at these times — but the Partners always take the lead in their communities. In this way, the Program Partners are the backbone of NRC's service.
NRC's reservation Partners are motivated and skilled but often lack the basic resources to get the job done. Partners volunteer to work with NRC because they want to gather the resources that will empower their communities and help build capacity for the future. In doing so, the Partners also learn how to work with outside resources, organize events, and work through volunteers. Their volunteers in turn build skills and confidence. This learning benefits the entire reservation and its members in their stride toward being more self-sufficient.
NRC programming is effective. Our broad scope of services and reservation partnerships make a positive impact on the lives of the Native American people in our service area. We see this through Partner reports, success stories, thank you letters, and our own service tracking. Here are a few examples:
On South Dakota's poverty-stricken Rosebud Reservation, AIRC Breakfast-in-a-Bag ensures that Elders can start each day with a healthy meal at home. The groceries typically include milk, juice, cereal, fruit, bread, potatoes, eggs, ground beef or stew meat, and sausage. One participant says:
"I really like the beef, because you can eat all day... and it really helps a lot at the end of the month."
—Mabel, Sioux Elder
Rosebud Sioux Tribe, South Dakota
For many Americans, the holiday season is a time of joy and celebration. For Native Americans of the Northern Plains, however, special meals and presents are often unaffordable. AIRC Christmas ensures that these families can also participate in the holiday season.
"We send bountiful blessings to all those at NRC, the sponsors, and each life you all touch in such a generous and profound way. Merry Christmas!"
—Sharon, Tribal Member
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Montana
"My name is Wilson. I volunteered to help my community [the Cove Community of the Navajo Nation] pick up trash and enjoyed doing it. The incentives I earned were very useful to me. It was good exercise for me to walk the long road and it made me feel good to know the people are concerned about the nature of our community. I was surprised so many people wanted to help and I hope they will continue to keep our community clean. I thank National Relief Charities for all the things you do for our people."
—Wilson, Navajo Volunteer
Navajo Nation, Arizona
AIEF provides school supplies for K—12 reservation students and scholarships for college-bound Native American students. These comments demonstrate the far-reaching impact of these services:
"We do want to thank you again for what you have done for us and the students here at Lodge Pole School... It's people within an organization such as yours that truly help us in promoting quality education and success for our Native American youth... You have no clue as to how much it makes our students feel better to know that they can go to school with paper for notes and schoolwork. Pencils to write with. Markers to use for creative projects or highlighting. Binders with dividers for helping them be organized. Calculators to assist them as they work through math, geometry or algebra. To know that someone or some people somewhere do care... Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for what you’ve done for these students."
—Arla, Tribal Member
Fort Belknap Reservation, Montana
"Your support makes a difference. ...Without the AIEF scholarship, I probably would not have made it through college. Now I am teaching on my reservation, and I can afford my own apartment."
—Kelly, happy College Graduate
Navajo Nation, Arizona
Every year, volunteers from the Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma make sure that the Elders in their community receive needed food and supplies during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Here’s the response from one Elder:
"Thank you so much for the wonderful Thanksgiving dinner basket that you gave me and my family. It will be greatly enjoyed by all. Your thoughtfulness makes life much easier. Thanks to all for this most thoughtful gift. May God bless each of you richly."
—Edwina, Ottawa Elder
...and from the tribe:
"Alta, from the Ottawa Tribe, and another health professional, Linda, delivered your Thanksgiving Food Baskets to 65 Elders' homes. Our Elders were overjoyed to receive this timely food. Many of the Elders gave us big hugs and wept because they were having a hard time trying to get the things that they need for Thanksgiving dinners due to lack of money. For many of our Elders they are helping to raise their grandchildren and it takes all they have just to provide for every day needs let alone for special holidays. One lady said that NRC made her Thanksgiving Day a day to remember for many years.
Alta and Linda also delivered your Christmas Gift Baskets to 83 Elders. The elders were so happy that you thought of them at this time of the year. They expressed their thanks and appreciation for all the items in their Christmas Gift Baskets. ...The Ottawa Tribe and I personally want to thank NRC for all that they have done for the Indian people and for caring so much for their welfare. Without your help so many would be lacking for just the daily necessaries of life. "
—Alta, with thanks
Ottawa Tribe, Oklahoma