Frustration over Navajo officials request to stop donations

Created: 06/21/2014 9:54 PM
By: Devin Neeley, KOB Eyewitness News 4

As firefighters are gaining ground on the Assayii Lake Fire burning on the Navajo Nation, there are questions about how leaders on the nation are handling the donations that have come in.

As KOB Eyewitness News Four told you earlier this week about an Albuquerque woman who was planning on taking donations to the Navajo Nation who had mixed emotions about her trip.

“The experience was totally amazing.”

Felicity Horowitz used her extreme coupon skills to get food and supplies for fire victims displaced fire. Friday she and her husband loaded a truck and trailer and headed north to Naschitti.

“We wanted to get there and meet the people, see where they were staying.”

At their second stop, Newcomb High School, they found a small amount of food for the almost 20 families plus firefighters.

“So when we saw the bleachers and heard 249 firefighters, we said, well what are you feeding them??”

While aid was on the way, officials asked for a hold on any donations to fire victims. That much needed help was being rerouted to a warehouse in fort defiance to be inventoried and inspected, to possibly be stored for another time.

“Which is ridiculous because these people need it now.”

Frustration with the decision is apparent on Facebook, comments range from claims that the government doesn't care about the people to blasting politicians.

Many just hope that those that need the help will get it.

KOB Eyewitness News Four took these concerns to a Navajo Nation spokesperson. She tells us officials say the decision to ask for a hold on donations is based on the need to be accountable, and make sure that perishable items don't go to waste. They also say that items that have been routed to fort defiance are already being distributed to areas in need.

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