July 27, 2020. We could all use some good news these days. The Navajo Nation received some Friday in the form of a shipment of PPE and COVID-19 diagnostic equipment. The supplies were packaged and sent by the disaster relief and medical assistance organization Direct Relief. Four such shipments went out last week alone, and a total of over nine tons of supplies have been delivered to the Navajo Nation by Direct Relief.
The donations were collected by The SGN Store, which is managed by Sevenly.org, and those donations are matched by The Starbucks Foundation (up to $1,000,000). The SGN Fund is administered by Legacy Global Foundation, and 5th Element Group designed the omniwin partnership with SGN.
“The response from The SGN Community has been incredible,” said Philip Myers, CEO of Sevenly, which hosts The SGN Store. “SGN merch sales resulting in donations like these to Navajo Nation are now approaching $350,000, which is really encouraging!”
To create additional impact from the SGN match program with The Starbucks Foundation, Binance Charity is doubling the PPE donations from SGN Store mask purchases, making it a $1-to-$4 match. The PPE donations are initiatially targeting First Nations communities around the country, beginning with the Navajo and Apache Nations.
Though reporting the highest COVID-19 case rate of any state in the country, the Navajo Nation also boasts the highest testing rate, with around 40% of residents having been tested. The pandemic has presented unique challenges to the Nation, a sovereign territory larger than ten U.S. States that spans portions of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. A third of residents lack access to running water and some must travel hours to reach the nearest hospital. Many lack access to technologies that enable telemedicine services. This lack of infrastructure makes patient care and the provision of supportive treatments uniquely difficult.
Nevertheless, at the start of the pandemic, the Navajo Nation quickly ramped up testing and contact tracing investigations. Now, through the adoption of PPE and safety policies, the Nation has been successful in largely containing the spread of the virus. The supplies delivered by Direct Relief and partners mean good news for the doctors, nurses, and other frontline health workers fighting to provide care and support for those affected by the pandemic, and to keep the spread of the virus contained.
“We all need some good news these days, said Jim Van Eerden, CEO of 5th Element. “It’s heartening to see efforts like this, focused on specific communities that can benefit from timely relief supplies.”
SANTA BARBARA, CA: Direct Relief emergency response specialist Chris Alleyway loads PPE and diagnostic supplies headed for the Navajo Nation onto a Starbucks Foundation plane.