Arizona nonprofits team up to provide outerwear to Native Americans in need

Valley nonprofit Arizona Helping Hands, which provides essential needs to children in foster care throughout Arizona, shared a generous donation with Native American communities also experiencing great need.

The donation, which included boxes of jackets and other articles of clothing, was given to Native American Connections, a nonprofit that serves Native American communities throughout the Valley.

President and CEO of Arizona Helping Hands, Dan Shufelt, says they had recently received a bulk donation of clothers from Patagonia through a third party facilitator called Delivering Good.

"It was much more than we could utilize in our regular activity, so we said, 'Who else can use these products?' " Shufelt said. "Right now, during the times of the pandemic, the Native American communities are suffering."

The CEO reached out to Native American Connections to pass on the donations.

"Native American Connections has been around for over 40 years," said P.J. Jasso, director of public engagement for the Ntaive nonprofit. "When they first started out, they were Native-centric. They predominantly provided services to Native Americans that came in off the reservation and needed behavorial treatment."

Thanks to the partnerships, 4,000 articles of brand-new Patagonia outerwear clothing were delivered last week to Native American communities, including the Navajo, Hopi, Gila River and Tohono O'odham nations.

"COVID has really affected our ability to get really quality clothing on a regular basis," said Jasso. "Normally I have a group of people that come throughout the year.  They're our saving grace for providing gently used clothes that we provide to everyone that needs something that's in our program."

However, because of the pandemic, the nonprofit had to stop accepting donations for gently used clothes out of an abundance of caution.

"To be able to assist these give them these beautiful articles of clothing to make them feel a little bit prouder, hold their shoulders up a little really was a welcome gift," said Shufelt.

If you'd like to help out, Native American Connections says the one thing they need are undergarments.

For the latest local news, download the FOX 10 News app.

Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news: