I get mentally stuck sometimes, and frustrated, when I think of the disparity rates in the communities I serve. I’m Cherokee and Kiowa. I live in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and work for Indian Child Welfare. I’ve worked my entire career serving Native communities, working diligently to correct the disparity rates, and every time I see a Native person walking down the street strung out on meth, fidgeting and impulsively picking at their skin (the telltale signs of meth addiction), it breaks my heart. I get frustrated at the disparity rates among Native Americans and see first hand the negative impacts caused by historical trauma.
There is one way to change the disparity rates and that’s by giving to a well vetted Native organization, like the Murrow Indian Children’s Home in Oklahoma. It’s more commonly called the Murrow Home for us locals. They provide care for Native children and are currently in need of specific items. Below you’ll find a link to their official Facebook page:
We all want to help and often we don’t know how. While I’ve dedicated my career to working with Native youth, many of us have occupations outside this field but equally want to contribute. My recommendation is to go through the process of vetting Native organizations. Don’t wait for a Native person to do so. It can be frustrating for people of color to always have to do the leg work. If I can care enough about Native people that I’ll do the work to track down organizations and talk to employees from specific organizations, then I expect anyone could do the same. Not to be harsh, but people of color are not slaves to someone else’s enlightenment. Although, when I see a Native organization sending out a call, like the one on the Facebook page above, I’ll go out of my way to help them meet their needs.
If you’d like to know more about the Murrow Indian Children’s Home here is a link to their website: The Murrow Home. Also, here is a link to their amazon wish list page: Amazon Smile Murrow Home. Additionally, if you’d like to learn more about the history of The Murrow Home here is an article: Cherokee Phoenix Article on The Murrow Home.
I started my career working with a Native group home so my heart is close to helping children in those troubling circumstances. I know what it’s like to mentor youth who need stability and safety in their lives, who need a strong role model. The Murrow Home is a rare group home that works specifically with Native youth, including Cherokee children from tribally specific Cherokee communities. If you’re in a position to give back, please do so by reaching out to The Murrow Home directly or following one the links above.
(Image above was borrowed from flickr)