The Rewind

U2 Drummer Donates $100,000 To Help Navajo And Hopi Families

U2 Drummer Donates $100,000 To Help Navajo And Hopi Families

It has emerged tonight that Larry Mullen of U2 has pledged $100,000 to the cause of the Hopi and Navajo peoples in America as they struggle desperately to cope with the ravages of Covid-19.

America's indigenous communities - especially the Navajo and Hopi people - have suffered severely because of the coronavirus, with a death rate in some towns that is more than double one of the worst affected parts of America.

The Choctaw people were incredibly generous to the Irish during the Great Famine and many Irish people have repaid that gift over the past two months. Mullen's donation is one of thousands from this island.

The pledge means that over $4 million have been raised to help the Navajo and Hopi people over on GoFundMe, with many charitable pledges coming from Ireland.

U2 have been a force for good in this crisis, donating €10m of PPE and sourcing for Irish medical workers while it was at its most scarce.

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Cassandra Begay, a spokesperson for the Hopi and Navajo people, released a statement tonight on the charity's GoFundMe page thanking the people of Ireland and Mullen specifically for the outrageous generosity displayed over the past months.

KINŁANI, DINÉTAH, (FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA) — Larry Mullen, Jr., Irish musician and co-founder of the rock group U2, has joined the wave of solidarity from Ireland for Indigenous Peoples disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 by donating $100,000 to the Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund (Relief Fund).

In early May donations to the Relief Fund’s GoFundMe campaign spiked with contributions from Ireland. After reading news coverage of the crisis on the Navajo and Hopi reservations, many Irish felt compelled to reciprocate support from Indigenous Nations that dates back more than 170 years.

During Ireland's Potato Famine of 1847, the Choctaw Nation raised $170 dollars (about $5,000 now) for starving Irish families. Today, with Mr. Mullen’s contribution, over 25,500 Irish donors have contributed over $870,000 to the Relief Fund and the Navajo and Hopi elders, immunocompromised, COVID-positive, and vulnerable families it serves.

Relief Fund founder Ethel Branch stated, “We feel real kinship with the Irish, who have a shared legacy of colonization, and we are truly grateful for Mr. Mullen’s donation and all donations that have come from our Irish brethren. Go raibh maith agat and ahéhee’! Someday we hope to repay you for these beautiful and meaningful acts of solidarity made during our time of great need.”

Mr. Mullen’s generous contribution will fund a week’s worth of deliveries of food and water to about 1000 Navajo and Hopi households with high risk, vulnerable, or COVID-positive family members. The Relief Fund seeks to provide each family with 2 weeks’ worth of food so they are able to stay home and avoid exposure for a meaningful period of time in an effort to flatten the curve for the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe. The Navajo Nation is the U.S. jurisdiction with the most COVID-19 cases per capita, now exceeding New York and New Jersey.

The Relief Fund has mobilized a massive volunteer emergency effort to provide food and water distribution throughout the Navajo and Hopi Nations. The GoFundMe for the effort has now surpassed $4 million dollars and the Relief Fund volunteers have served over half of the Navajo Nation chapters including 6,400 households in almost 70 communities on the Navajo Nation and in 5 of the 12 Hopi Villages.

Please visit our website for more information, to donate, and for additional resources including volunteer & support request forms: www.navajohopisolidarity.org.

Photo credit: Kristin Greenwood/Shutterstock.com

Donny Mahoney

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