The citizens of Ireland are raising money to help Native Americans in the United States suffering because of the pandemic in order to honor the gift that was sent to them during the Irish potato famine of 1847.
“From Ireland, 170 years later, the favour is returned!” read one message from a donor to the GoFundMe page set up to collect the donations. “To our Native American brothers and sisters in your moment of hardship.”
The campaign has collected more than $3.7 million for the beleaguered Navajo Nation and Hopi reservation.
Ethel Branch, who organized the campaign, said they are able to provide food, water and other necessary supplies because of the fund.
“It’s very unexpected, but it’s just incredible to see the solidarity and to see how much people who are so far away care about our community and have sympathy for what we’re experiencing,” Branch said to CNN.
Historians document that the Choctaw Nation responded to the famine and starvation the Irish people experienced in 1847 by collecting donations. They sent $170, the equivalent of $5,000 in today’s money to Ireland.
But the pandemic aid is just the latest act to recognize the selfless charity of the Choctaw in 1847. The Irish have commemorated the gift with a statue in 2017, and a scholarship fund in 2018.
Here’s more on the campaign to help the Navajo and Hopi:
Navajo/Hopi Covid-19 Relief GoFundMe