It’s that time of year when as is customary, we write to ask for your financial support for the annual donor campaign for Intertribal Friendship House (IFH), this past year has without doubt been the most difficult year of all our collective lives. We must remind ourselves that the challenges we face today pale in comparison to those historically faced by native peoples who were often mistreated in every possible way, starved, hunted down, sent on forced marches, imprisoned and taken from everything they held dear. And yet they survived. Many suffered, to be sure, but with resilience, resourcefulness and a reliance on traditional practices and one another, they survived and often flourished. Granted, our challenges are daunting but by helping and encouraging one another, we have the wherewithal to face and overcome them with courage, hope and optimism. So it is, in this disastrous climate, when everything seems insurmountable, that we now seek your support to enable us to continue forward in a positive way, in a manner that not only honors the struggles of Native ancestors but also builds on our own.
When COVID hit in mid-March our small dedicated staff and incredible volunteers did a fantastic job, “pivoting” as they say, to help implement needed programs that would immediately aid the community. IFH launched our SOFAST program, an acronym for “Supporting our Families and Seniors Together. Since March IFH has been making regular no contact deliveries of lifeline foods and COVID supplies goods to the Native elders and their families in need. Currently IFH is organizing emergency kits for the community. We continue to connect the community to their culture with a weekly drum and dance practice and special cultural workshops and virtual online presentations.
We humbly come to you, with humility and gratitude, knowing we rely heavily on the donor support that is absolutely essential in enabling us to not only face the great challenges of this time, but to thrive and realize a healthy native community as it is meant to be. We could not do this important work without you and in this coming year our donors’ support will be especially key. We do not know where the future will take us but we are prepared to adapt to a new and different world. We do know that to do this we need the involvement and support of you all and deeply appreciate very much every single contribution offered. Generosity is a keystone of native values and we are always moved at how this is embraced by our donor community.
If you can help, please send your tax-deductible donations to: IFH, 523 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606, or donate securely on our website at www.ifhurbanrez.org by clicking on the donation blanket or at https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/protecting-the-people. Bequests, employer matches, monthly contributions, in-kind donations, and any suggestions you might share on revenue ideas are welcome. Thanks so much for caring, and for sharing. Our community, and our world, is better off from those who care and choose to make a difference. We offer our sincere condolences for any hardships or loss that you may have suffered in this time and hope that in this life you and your dear ones are surrounded by love and all good things.
Carol Wahpepah, IFH Executive Director