ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico woman battling health problems of her own is leading an effort to raise money for people affected by COVID-19 in the Navajo Nation.

“In just three days, we’ve raised over $5,000 on Facebook and people are sending checks,” Caitlin Anderson of Albuquerque said. “At this time, it seems we’re all at home wishing we could do something. This project just felt like something we could do.”

Anderson started the online fundraiser last week to help the Ramah Navajo Community, where she has family and community ties.

“The Navajo Nation and Cibola County have really been hit hard and the numbers there are just devastating,” she explained. “For almost 20 years now, we’ve been part of that community and the Ramah Navajo Chapter is really small and there are so many folks there without transportation and without electricity or water. And, they’re far, far removed in rural Cibola and McKinley Counties.”

Her daughter uses the funds to buy food and other supplies that she dropped off on Sunday at the Inscription Rock Trading Post near El Morro, just east of Ramah.

“It’ll be like Christmas when these packages get out to the Navajo families because it’s not just beans and flour,” Anderson said. Members of the Ramah Navajo Chapter can pick up those donations Monday following the weekend curfew.

Anderson is among the population who could get hid hard by the coronavirus because she suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. But, she says this was an important mission for her to help the Navajo chapter of about 3,500 people.

“They can’t get to the stores to get food or medical supplies,” Anderson stated. “Our friends cried when they saw the donations and we know it’s really going to make a difference.”

They are still accepting monetary donations and supplies at least through the stay-at-home order, which is May 15. People wanting to help can find the donation page on Facebook or can email to arrange a donation drop off in Albuquerque.

New Mexico Coronavirus Resources