Starting around October each year, Running Strong partners can apply for small holiday grants for community gatherings, seasonal operations, or use at their discretion for the local population in the name of holiday cheer. Some organizations host Christmas celebrations or youth activities. This November the Navajo Hopi Honor Riders used their Running Strong holiday grant to purchase and deliver turkeys to elders, native veterans, and families in the Navajo and Hopi Reservations to spread the cheer.

The Navajo Hopi Honor Riders is a not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization that is dedicated to honoring, supporting and serving military families through motorcycle escort services, community volunteer projects and building awareness for Native American military veterans or their surviving families. Earlier in September the NHHR hosted a backpack giveaway for local schoolchildren whom they had identified in their communities to help get ready for the new school year on the right foot. 2019 marks the fourth year of partnership with Running Strong, and with the success of this year’s turkey distribution it won’t be the last.

 “It’s always a humbling moment to see the expression of a chei, masani or parents in need, as we hand over a turkey and not ask for anything in return. It has been an amazing experience to be a part of what Running Strong does for Native communities,” Martin said.

honor riders

The Navajo Hopi Honor Riders also host Christmas Dinners to give away roasts to veterans and elders, motorcycle escorts for funeral services or homecoming events for returning military service personnel, and participate in community service projects to assist veterans with home improvement and remodeling projects to adapt to physical or mental challenges resulting from military service. You can learn more about their service at http://www.navajohopihonorriders.com/about/.

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