Non-Profit Seeks to Provide Clean Water, Sturdy Blankets to Diné This Winter

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Forty percent of homes on the Navajo Reservation do not have running water, which means it has to be trucked in; it means the homes there -- these families -- don't have taps to turn on or toilets to flush. As they conserve their water for drinking and cooking, families are not able to wash clothes and blankets until more water is provided. This has a significant impact on the wear and tear of blankets, specifically.

Enter DIGDEEP -- a non-profit working to provide clean, accessible water to the Diné. The organization launched a campaign Tuesday to keep hundreds of Diné families warm during the brutal winter months. The Give Water, Give Warmth effort will provide a wool pendleton blanket to a Diné family in need with a purchase of a pendleton this holiday season, according to its website. Also, $100 will be donated to the Navajo Water Project.

DIGDEEP founder and Executive Director George McGraw told ICTMN it's imperative that these families have warmth and clean water this winter.

"If you’re Navajo American, you’re 67 times more likely not to have a tap or toilet in your house," McGraw said. "It’s really our mission not only to provide safe, high quality water to this community, but also a quantity that meets human rights standards."

McGraw added he hopes other Americans will begin to acknowledge that access to clean water is a serious problem in the U.S.

"It’s really important to us in this campaign to help Americans see this as an American problem," he said. "We want them to see that it's a problem that’s really solvable. We really hope to ban together this year."

DIGDEEP also has water access projects in east and west Africa.