Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Weaving Ceremonial Blankets - Rug Show Theme For 2015

by Linda Myers

In the Navajo culture Pendleton blankets are used in many ceremonies and are presented as special gifts to honor dignitaries and leaders as well as birthdays and special occasions.

The traditional Elders wear these blankets during ceremonies, and many of the Pendleton blanket designs come from the patterns found in Navajo rugs.

Many of the symbols that are used in Pendleton blankets come from the different symbols of many tribes. Each tribe has a blanket that carries their own sacred symbols - mountains, birds, baskets, animals, and totems.

This year's rug show will feature Navajo rugs that the Elders have woven from Pendleton blanket designs. Some of the Elders chose to weave the pattern of the blanket that they wear during ceremonies. Others have chosen some of the newer designs.

We have received many beautiful rugs featuring their choice of designs and symbols which they have woven into their creations.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Packing Rainbow Food Boxes 3/7/15

by John Aldrich

When it's time to begin packing the Rainbow Food Boxes, we know that the spring food runs can't be far off. Saturday was the first of two Saturdays where this task will be completed. After delivery of the food several weeks ago there was still much work to be done to prepare the warehouse for food packing. There were giveaway projects to complete as well as rearranging things in the warehouse. On top of that, when volunteers arrived on Saturday they found that C.J. had engineered a new box loading procedure. The routine we have been used to for many years had changed. Would we be up to the challenge of learning a new way of doing things?

With an outstanding turnout of volunteers, both old and new, we found that old volunteers can indeed learn new tricks - quickly and easily.

The morning began with a Navajo prayer and a few instructions:


The above time-lapse video shows how it all worked as 10 minutes of warehouse activity is compressed into 12 seconds.

Our hero who made all this happen is C.J. Robb, assistant director of ANE. He spent countless hours preparing the warehouse for the day as well as designing the logistics. And it all worked beautifully. Near the end of the morning he paused next to the boxes that had been packed for the Many Farms and Tsaile food runs.

Given that "many hands make light work", we finished about an hour earlier than projected. This photo shows most of the group that provided all those hands.

Here is a collection of pictures taken throughout the morning:

If it looks like people are having fun, it's because they were. Come and be part of the fun as we complete the project of packing all the Rainbow Food Boxes next Saturday morning starting at 8:00 a.m. at the warehouse.

For more details visit the Volunteers Activities Page of our web site.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Food Has Arrived!

by John Aldrich

Today was the big day for the food delivery for the upcoming spring food runs. Lots of advance planning and work goes into this by our assistant director and warehouse manager C.J. Robb. C.J. has redesigned the layout of the warehouse for the food so we all had to reorient to the new system. Since he had to be at Walmart during the morning working on the order, he thoughtfully left us instructions as to how he wanted us to do things.

Food items were all assigned new locations around the warehouse. Handy new signs had been created to indicate where each should go. You will also note new signs for the food run locations as well.

An excellent turnout of volunteers was ready when the door opened for the first truckload of food.

Boyd Mitchell was once again the driver and pallet wrangler for the delivery.

Once pallets were off the truck volunteers got right to work putting food items in their respective locations.

Sam Aloia took charge of the Ramen.

And Lamar Clark helped Boyd on the truck.

The pallets kept coming and the volunteers kept working.

Fred Toensing pauses before hefting a load of food.

When the truck left for the second load, everyone gathered for a group photo.

The next big step in preparing the food for the Elders will be packing the Rainbow Food Boxes. This activity needs a much bigger turnout of volunteers. We hope that you will be able to join us on two consecutive Saturdays, March 7th and March 14th at the warehouse from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m.

The final step, of course, will be the food runs themselves when the boxes will be delivered to the Elders. Please consider joining us for one of these rewarding excursions to the reservation. Details can be found on the Volunteer Activities Page of our web site.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

ANE Volunteer Christmas Party

by John Aldrich

Yesterday we had our annual Christmas party for volunteers at the warehouse. This is always a fitting and enjoyable close to the year. We had a good turnout and enjoyed delicious potluck food and a variety of games. Linda also read letters of appreciation from a number of Elders. In the giveaway spirit, the prizes for the games were gift boxes to be sent to an Elder of choice. Gifts from the Elders were also distributed to those present.

When we return after the holidays, the warehouse, which has already seen a beautiful transformation this year, will have had new carpeting installed. We've had a great year and look forward to the next. And we wish all of you the best for the Holiday Season and the New Year.

Here is a collection of photos from yesterday's event presented without further comment: