Success Stories

Meet Mary and Ann

Photo of Mary Mary's favorite memory of Thanksgiving was the gathering of family.

Home to about 1,450 residents, Tohatchi — or T'hch'ih, meaning “One Who Digs for Water” — was one of the 18 communities to receive the Thanksgiving meals through the Southwest Reservation Aid™ (SWRA) Program’s Thanksgiving service.

It was our honor and pleasure to visit with several Elders while turkeys were being delivered.

Meet Mary

Mary has lived in Tohatchi all her life. She left for only a brief period to attend boarding school off the reservation.

She attended school in Tohatchi and Fort Wingate, New Mexico, and also attended Intermountain Indian School in Brigham City, Utah.

She talked a little about past Thanksgiving holidays. She began laughing as she recalled the Thanksgiving at Intermountain. Thanksgiving was like any other day. There was a dinner, but she was craving something to eat other than turkey. She and her friend found some sardines and decided to eat them after everyone went to sleep. The dorm mother discovered them and they ended up getting in trouble for their late night snacking.

She was married for many years, but her husband passed away. She has four children, two boys and two girls, as well as six grandchildren.

Photo of Ann and Damon Ann and Damon were both appreciative and thanked us for the holiday meal.

After she graduated from high school, she went to work in Gallup. It was there that she met her future husband and got married. She was a stay-at-home mother. After her husband passed, she began to use her time to volunteer, first as a Foster Grandparent at the Head Start for three years, and then at the Senior Center.

In her spare time, Mary likes to travel. She has been all over the western United States. Her favorite state is Nevada and her favorite city is Albuquerque. She had two cats and two dogs; they keep her company most of the time.

For Thanksgiving this year, she planned to stay home and cook dinner for her youngest daughter. The rest of the kids lived too far away to visit. Her favorite memory of Thanksgiving was the gathering of family — her children and grandchildren — all under one roof. Her favorite Native food is blue corn mush and freshly cut, oven cooked pumpkin.

Meet Ann and Damon

Ann and her husband, Damon, planned to have their Thanksgiving dinner at home with their family. They have four children and ten grandchildren.

She was looking forward to having everyone come together for the holiday. One of her children would cook the turkey — that was her favorite food. They were both appreciative and thanked us for the holiday meal to help them feed their family.

Thank you for helping to make this service possible!