“To help Native American people improve the quality of their lives by providing opportunities for them to bring about positive changes in their communities.”
Native Americans living on the rural and remote reservations of the Northern Plains struggle daily with isolation, limited employment opportunities, and a harsh and resource-poor environment. Poverty is all too common and weighs most heavily on those who are most fragile — the elderly, children, and families.
The American Indian Relief Council (AIRC) program helps these proud people improve the quality of their own lives by providing opportunities for them to bring about positive changes in their own communities.
Our services address a wide variety of needs, from literacy to Elder nutrition. Generous product donations and volume discounts make for cost-effective distribution of new and quality products. This benefits reservation participants. The highly targeted AIRC services include:
- Baby Baskets (provide infant-care essentials to new mothers)
- Breakfast-in-a-Bag (offers healthy meals to Elders)
- Christmas (delivers gifts for children and Elders)
- Food (supplies non-perishables to Elder Nutrition Centers)
- Literacy (encourages parents and volunteers to read with children)
- Project Grow (tills garden plots and provides seeds for planting)
- Thanksgiving (provides Elders with all the fixings for a family meal)
- Weatherization (weatherproofs homes for the winter)
- Winter Fuel (subsidizes the cost of fuel for Elders)
|Our focus on volunteerism helps build stronger communities. |
Our goal is to create self-sufficient communities, so substantial community volunteerism is a part of the processing or distribution of these goods. Local volunteers help with projects such as delivering food to homebound Elders or sorting bulk deliveries of diapers into family-size packages for Baby Baskets.
Incentive items such as baby food, clothing, and personal care items are often distributed to volunteers to thank them for putting forth the extra effort in their communities. This unique approach of earning and learning through volunteerism makes AIRC services more like partnering and less like charity.