Southwest Reservation Aid (SWRA) provided some “Reflection sheets” for Elders to complete voluntarily upon receiving their Thanksgiving holiday meal boxes. Given no contact deliveries and travel restrictions of Partnership With Native American staff, we hoped that Elders would help convey to our donors their appreciation in their words.
"I am thankful that my family are doing ok for the holiday"
— Richard S.
Even through a pandemic, Elders still maintain their sense of humor. On our reflection sheets, we asked Elders if they would share their favorite recipe with us. One of the Elders, responded: ”It’s a secret. Sorry, thank you!” This recipe seems to be a highly guarded family heirloom so we won’t press for the details. But, we are happy that most of the Elders receiving the make-your-own holiday meal boxes could be with family or a close friend in their household. They are all taking their health, as well as their community's health, very seriously and following the tribe's executive order on No Gatherings.
Below are some of the responses to the Reflections we received from our Tohono O’odham friends:
Please share a tradition that has been passed down in your family during this holiday.
"Thankful for all the help I get from the District, Elderly Program, and PWNA" — Evelyn C.
- Family gatherings to celebrate Thanksgiving enjoy each other's company. — Carmen V., Age 64, Pisinemo
- Gathering together with relatives and friends for the holiday every year. — Richard S., Age 69, Kupk
- I would say the gathering of all family and friends. — Joseph L., Age 71, Pisinemo
What is your favorite memory of this holiday as a child or adult?
- I remember going to about 2 to 3 families to share their dinner for Thanksgiving. — Richard S., Age 69, Kupk
- All I can remember as a child is that I would see the whole community get together to eat a meal of chicken or rabbit stew. I don’t remember eating a turkey on this holiday. — Joseph L., Age 71, Pisinemo
- When all the family would get together and visit and eat good food. — Evelyn C., Age: Not disclosed, Pisinemo
This year has been very challenging for our communities, when you reflect on 2020, can you share something you are thankful for?
"Thank you for the turkey and contents that came with it. May you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving holiday. The good Lord sends his blessing you all Thanksgiving." — Carmen V.
- I am thankful for my grandkids that are living with me. — Lorraine M., Age 63, Pisinemo
- I am mostly thankful for my family for being here with me and also thankful for all my friends and my community. — Joseph L., Age 71, Pisinemo
- Thankful for my family for taking care of me and being there for me when I lost my son. — Frances M., Age 75, Pisinemo
- Thankful for all the help I get from District, Elderly Program and PWNA. — Evelyn C., Age: Not disclosed, Pisinemo
How will you be connecting to friends and family while keeping yourself safe this holiday and how many people will be served with food items in your home?
- Have Thanksgiving with immediate family in household, serving about five people. — Carmen V., Age 64, Pisinemo
- With this pandemic going on, we will be celebrating with just family. — Richard S., Age 69, Kupk
- Mostly by phone and mail, that’s my way of keeping everyone safe. (Thanksgiving) would be my family of 7. — Joseph L., Age 71, Pisinemo
"I want to thank the PWNA for the turkey and the other things that came with it and God Bless you all!" — Julia H.
What would you like to say to the PWNA donors that help provide the meal this year?
- I would thank them for the donation very much. — Lorraine M., Age 63, Pisinemo
- Thank you for the turkey and contents that came with it. May you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving holiday. The good Lord sends his blessing (to) you all (this) Thanksgiving. — Carmen V., Age 64, Pisinemo
- I would like to thank (you for) your donation to our district. — Richard S., Age 69, Kupk
- I’m grateful to PWNA for helping us during this time of year. Thank you and bless you all! — Joseph L., Age 71, Pisinemo
- I want to thank the PWNA for the turkey and the other things that came with it and God bless you all! — Julia H., Age 72, Pisinemo
- Very appreciated, thank you. — Name illegible, Pisinemo
- Thank you! — Frances M., Age 75, Pisinemo
- Thank you for sending this meal. — Evelyn C., Age: Not disclosed, Pisinemo
Thank you for your support of Native American Elders on reservations in the Southwest!