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Sitting on the most northern edge of the Navajo Nation at the junction of McElmo Creek and the San Juan River is the community of Aneth – and the location for the 2021 Navajo Santa Family Delivery, which took place on December 4. Based on a Sub-for-Santa model, this program reaches families on the Navajo Nation who are most isolated and with the greatest need. Under the leadership of Navajo Santa Board Member Patrick Juhlin, he connected with Aneth community members Gladina Yanito and Evevia Nezm, who served as our guides and helped us identify 16 families and elders (59 individuals) to be part of the program.

This year, Navajo Santa substantially increased the quantity of food and dry goods we provided to each family. This presented new challenges as we figured out how to pack and deliver cases of canned goods, flour, cat food, and 50 lb bags of dog food – along with all the family gifts. Fortunately, we had a lot of pick-up trucks along with the ginormous trailer that Travis Hale brought down filled with all the food and Mike Dahl’s trailer filled with family gifts, gift buckets, and the candy and lotions and potions that Sharyl Nobel was able to get donated. 

All the families were home to receive their gifts. Lots of tears and joy resulted from the generous giving and receiving.  

We would like to thank Toni and “Santa” Randal Dee, Gladina Yanito and Evevia Nezm, Frances and staff at Twin Rocks (the dinner was wonderful), Macey’s Spanish Fork, Sweets Candy, Leslie Peterson for making and donating her beautiful dolls, Amer and the staff at Desert Rose, and the 2021 family sponsors – your generosity never ceases to amaze us. And, finally, to our generous grant sponsors – George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and the Emma Eccles Jones Foundation. 

Happy holidays to you and your families. If you have the means, please consider donating to Navajo Santa.

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