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August 26, 2020

WGU Establishes Fundraiser to Help the Navajo Nation during COVID-19

College of Health Professions raising funds to donate facemasks and hand sanitizers to the Navajo Nation to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

SALT LAKE CITY Western Governors University (WGU) has announced a fundraising effort aimed at providing the Navajo Nation with much-needed supplies like facemasks and hand sanitizer to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The fundraiser, an initiative of WGU’s College of Health Professions, raises awareness of the lack of resources that has faced the Navajo Nation since the start of COVID-19. Especially in short supply are facemasks and hand sanitizer. The fundraiser is dedicated to donating these key supplies to the Navajo community to better prevent the spread of the virus.

“In these troubling times, we are honored to have the opportunity to help the Navajo Nation and donate these highly in-demand supplies,” said Mollie Nordgren, WGU’s Director of Academic Programs in the College of Health Professions. “It is our hope that through these donations we will be able to not only send key supplies to a community in need but also help bring some peace of mind to those on the reservation.”

WGU’s goal is to donate 10,000 facemasks to the Navajo Nation over the next several months. The university has created several ways the community can make a difference and donate to the cause:

  • Purchase either a set of facemasks or a personal-protective equipment kit, and WGU will match the purchase with a duplicate donation. View the two package options.
  • Donate hand-sewn masks. Masks are to be mailed to David Hilderman at 1620 S. Second St. #210, Gallup, NM 87301.
  • Donate directly to the Navajo Nation GoFundMe.

The fundraiser, which launched in August, has currently collected close to 1,000 facemasks and has attracted a growing number of volunteers who are donating their time to create handmade facemasks.

The Navajo Nation has been hit hard by the pandemic, with numbers of positive cases surpassing those of New York and New Jersey. Despite proactive measures such as curfews, a shelter-in-place order, and social distancing to keep the virus at bay, many residents are left vulnerable to catching the virus because of the limited number of facemasks available and lack of running water in many communities where hand sanitizer has become in high demand.  

“There is worry, but there is also much hope and peace during this troubling time,” said Pastor David Hilderman from the Community Bible Church in Tse Bonito, New Mexico. “This simple act of kindness from individuals who will never know us but care enough to make and donate facemasks and hand sanitizer is what keep my spirits and the community’s spirits high.”

“We want to send our gratitude to those who have already donated to the cause and who have taken their time to make homemade facemasks. These little efforts, when they all come together, make a big difference,” said Nordgren.

To purchase either the facemask package or the PPE kit package, visit the WGU Store. Those interested in donating hand-sewn facemasks may send them to David Hilderman, 1620 S. Second St. #210, Gallup, NM 87301.

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