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Latter-day Saints Charities partners with nonprofits for Navajo Nation

Volunteers help pack and load boxes in a truck in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. The donated items include new backpacks, crayons, binders, notebooks, toilet paper, canned food and soap. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints along with nonprofits Christkindlmarkt SLC and Navajo Strong, joined together to donate nearly 800 COVID-19 kits and 700 backpacks full of supplies that were collected and donated to families on the Navajo Nation.

The project came as the groups sponsored the St. Martin’s Project, a community service initiative.

“We didn’t know what the response would be,” said Sister Antje Uchtdorf Evans, executive board member of the Christkindlmarkt SLC.

“We’re just so overwhelmed by the kindness of the many people that have come to our donation sites.”

The church said that community members along the Wasatch Front came together and donated clothes, food and other essential resources at drop off locations in Bountiful, Draper and Salt Lake City.

“To date, we’ve served over 800 families on the reservation,” Navajo Strong project coordinator Melissa Pickering said. “All these bins are going to be distributed throughout Arizona and New Mexico.”

HEART OF UTAH | Navajo Strong

Pickering said throughout the Navajo Nation, 30% to 40% of residents lack access to running water, electricity, and internet.

“There is very limited medical care on the reservation, which means a lot of people have to convalesce around all of their families,” said Elder Todd S. Larkin, an Area Seventy. “As a result, about one in eight people now on the reservation have tested positive for COVID-19. That’s the highest level in North America­­ – percentage of the population.”

Allyson Chard, founder of the Christkindlmarkt, said these donations show Utah’s greatness and generosity. 

“This is just more of a compliment to this community than anything else that people responded so generously, and families getting together, communities getting together, church groups, Rotary Clubs — just groups of people getting together, saying ‘We want to do something together.’

“I think [of] who it’s impacting — most of the people who are giving,” said Chard. “I’m a better person because I’m a part of this, and I’m hoping that as people receive these backpacks or these COVID kits that they’ll realize that there is someone that lives a few hours away that really cares,” she said.

The donations from Latter-day Saints charities and other groups to the Navajo Nation include new backpacks, crayons, binders, notebooks, toilet paper, canned food and soap.


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Obtain a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States


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