Adopt A Native Elder Program

Adopt an Elder

It is with happy hearts that we give to those in need. Even though our actions are small, we know the wind from a dragonfly's wing can make changes that vibrate across the universe. For this reason, we flap our little wings as much as we can... to send seeds of kindness and wellness to those in need. In this case, 2023 is the year we are flapping our wings to help support the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program.

Mending the Broken Circle

The Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program is a non-profit organization founded by Linda Myers to create a bridge of hope and to mend the broken circle of our relationship with the Land and the Native Americans who hold it in sacred trust. When you touch an Elder's life with the gift of food, you feed their spirits and their hearts. As one Elder told the program, "Because you bring me food, you wish my life to continue for another day." 

Making survival possible

For the last three decades, Linda Myers and her group have helped an estimated 3,000 Navajo Nation elders with life-saving food, firewood and medical supplies, allowing them to stay connected to their traditional lives. “Most of these elders were born and raised on the lands that they live on today. And they have a deep sense of connectedness to the land,” Myers said. They believe this is the life that their people were chosen to live.... to be with the land. Yet the reservations do not provide enough resources to meet their needs.
With temperatures often plunging below zero in winter, firewood is critical for the survival of many elders.
With temperatures often plunging below zero in winter, firewood is critical for the survival of many elders. photo by Allie Torgan/CNN

How hard is it to reach some of these elders? Myers says, "Sometimes I find out that the roads are so deep and muddy, you can’t get to the elders. So, you either go in early, early in the morning when the ground’s frozen, or late at night. It has taken up to 10 hours and sometimes it's impossible to visit them. It’s an amazing feeling to come out here, and an elder says, ‘I’ve been waiting for you. I’ve been praying for you that you would have a safe trip and that you would come and see me.’ " You see, for many elders, the assistance they receive makes survival possible.

 If you are able, we encourage you to help them too... 

Give the gift of food: 

When you touch an Elder's life with the gift of food, you feed their spirits and their hearts. As one Elder told us, "Because you bring me food, you wish my life to continue for another day." Living in remote locations, it is vitally important that the Elders have an adequate food supply. You may purchase food certificates for Elders in need. Elders can use the certificates at Bashas’ grocery stores on the Reservation. 

Give the gift of FOOD.

Food boxes


Give the gift of warmth:

A load of firewood is one of the gifts the Elders appreciate most. Most Elders live in hogans or simple homes heated only with firewood. Many Elders cook over wood. As they get older, gathering firewood becomes more difficult Most wood must be hauled down from the mountains. During the winter months, many roads are inaccessible. A supply of firewood is vital for the Elders. 

Give the gift of FIREWOOD.

Gift the gift of appreciation:  

When you purchase an authentic Navajo rug, you help Navajo weavers earn income that helps them buy hay for their livestock, food for their families, and firewood to heat their homes. Along with traditional designs, other elements you will find in the rugs tell the stories of many of the weavers' clans. The Eagle, Hummingbird and Butterfly Clans are all represented. Other clan animals such as Bear, Elk and Deer are also common. The weavers also like to use symbols of the mountains, clouds, corn and flowers to reflect the beauty of their land and its teachings. The weavers set their own prices and receive 100% of their asking price. Because every rug and piece of jewelry is one of a kind, the first person to complete payment for an item will receive the rug or jewelry. If you miss out a rug or piece of jewelry, know that we have many other one-of-a-kind treasures available and every sale makes a difference.

Support them through a PURCHASE.


give to the general fund - give love

Elders in the Eagles Program

Another essential need of the Program is donations for Elders who are too old, in poor health, homebound or in nursing homes, or who are otherwise not adoptable as a part of our regular Program. We typically have about 35 Elders who are 90 to over 100 years old in this portion of our Program. We call these Elders the “Eagles” of the Program. They represent the ones who are closest to Spirit. Many of these Elders are blind or bedridden and live in very remote portions of the Reservation. Their needs are simple: food, a blanket or set of sheets, and often we receive requests for special medical needs such as incontinent products, antibiotic ointments, hearing aids, etc. Many of the Elderly on the Reservation have diabetes and other health-related complications. 

Gift the gift of LOVE.


Alywillow's Commitment:

Here at Alywillow we simply see a need and love these survivors enough to give to them as we are able. We exist because of our ancestors and even though many of them are gone, these are elders that are still here and need us right now. We give our best and give freely without expectation of return. We give with open hearts.

  • 2023 is the year Alywillow will donate a portion of our proceeds to the Elders in the Eagles Program. These are the ones closest to Spirit.
  • We are also working on a plan to send Alywillow's Minty Relief Level 4 to relieve pain and swelling to the elders in several tribal communities.

Learn More:

You can read about how the Adopt-an-elder mission got started in the 1980's or see more on Myer's mission at CNN. Want to learn more about the Navajo way of life? Watch the documentary called “Broken Rainbow” about Navajo people.