Southwest Indian Relief Council
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A Program of PWNA


 Winter Fuel

Food or fuel?
Many Native Americans have
to choose.
This winter in America, many Elders on remote and impoverished American Indian reservations of the Southwest will have to decide whether to buy food, buy necessary medicines, or keep warm because they don’t have the resources to do all three.

On such reservations, many Elders do not have electricity, and their only option for winter heating is stoves. Yet some Elders cannot afford to get fuel for themselves because they have no transportation, no money, or are physically unable. As a result, some Elders have no source of heat at all for their homes.

Giving struggling Elders a hand
To give these struggling Elders a hand, SWIRC operates a Winter Fuel service. The SWIRC Program helps by getting wood or coal for those who have the stoves to use these fuels but do not have the money to buy fuel or the transportation to go get it. And because many Elders live with their extended family, this service benefits others in the community as well.

SWIRC services provides fire wood that community volunteers deliver.
The result: Elders can stretch their meager budgets further.

Strengthening the community.
In accordance with the SWIRC Way, the service relies on volunteers from each community, who donate their time to chop wood or gather coal and deliver it to the Elders. These volunteers thereby give back to and strengthen their community, while following the Native American tradition of caring for their Elders.

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