National Relief Charities, Hopi Project

By Geno Talas,
Director Hopi Veterans Services

This story was published in The Hopi Tuteveni, Volume 20, Number 7, August 7 ,2012.   Download PDF >>

Many Hopi programs have been utilizing National Relief Charities (NRC) services for their events and Hopi Veterans Services has been partners with them for several years now. Just recently I was able to further expand their support to assist a local Hopi Veteran with great success. This successful NRC project was due in large part by their generous support and funding to renovate a smoke and fire damaged house of a disabled Hopi Veteran residing on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. A brief synopsis on what brought this project to final completion:

On January 21, 2011, Ms. Hanna Polewytewa, Transport Driver, Hopi Veterans Services, had just completed her duties to safely transport Mr. Elroy Navasie, to and from his VA medical appointment at Prescott VA Medical Center, some four hours drive from the Hopi Reservation. Upon delivering Mr. Navasie to his house, she soon discovered his home was on fire. She quickly called and alerted the local flre department resulting in the rapid response of a flre truck, emergency medical services and the police. Ms. Polewytewa's superb actions resulted in minor damage to the house, ensured flrst aid to the smoke-inhaled Veteran and ultimately saved his home from complete destruction.

Since Mr. Navasie is 100% disabled and lives alone, our program worked closely with his sister, Nadine Lomawu-na, to attempt to locate and find ways to renovate his home. Funding for these types of situations is lacking on the Hopi Reservation, but other funding sources were explored, but proved to be unsuccessful. With the extreme cold winters temperatures on the Hopi Reservation and the damaged house not fit for living, Mr. Navasie ultimately moved to Phoenix, Arizona, to stay with his immediate family.

In March 2012, initial contact was made by Mr. Joseph Fragua, Jr., NRC, Program Outreach Coordinator, and Miss Helen Oliff, NRC, Public Relations Manager, who both came to Hopi to select potential candidates for NRC sponsored house renovations. We were happy to know that Mr. Navasie's house was selected for the project.

Lorna Construction, was awarded the contract by NRC, and they concentrated on the living room, kitchen, ceiling and interior walls of the house. The final completion was remarkable, with a new kitchen and living room area, a brand new stove area, walls and ceiling renovated, new windows and finally a new exterior porch.

Most importantly, Mr. Navasie is ready to move into his renovated house and is extremely happy that NRC made this a successful project. Our deep appreciation to NRC staff who had a direct impact in this enduring and heartfelt project. Kwa Kway and Thank you!

This story was published in The Hopi Tuteveni, Volume 20, Number 7, August 7 ,2012. It is reposted here with permission.   Download PDF >>

For further information on NRC services or National Relief Charities, visit or call 800-416-8102.