People in Ireland are supporting a fundraiser for Native American families during the coronavirus pandemic. They’re being inspired to donate by an act of kindness more than 170 years go and now they’re paying it forward. Back in 1847, the Choctaw tribe raised $170 to send to people in Ireland who were starving during the potato famine.
The Choctaw people had struggled 16 years earlier when they lost thousands of tribe members to disease and starvation while on the Trail of Tears. So they wanted to show their support to those suffering in Ireland and now people in Ireland are returning the favor.
According to Ethel Branch, organizer of the fundraiser, the coronavirus has had a tremendous impact on the Navajo and Hopi communities whom were already some of the most vulnerable. There's just over 18,000 people who llive in those communities. 40% of them don't have running water and a drought in the southwest has compounded the problem! The few tribe members who had jobs have all lost them due to quarantines and 44 members have also been diagnosed as having COVID 19
One donor wrote; "From Ireland, 170 years later, the favor is returned! To our Native American brothers and sisters in your moment of hardship."
In case you are wondering a dollar in 1847 had the value of $31.48 today. So the $170 is the equivalent of almost $5400 today. Today's fundraiser on a go fund me page has raised almost 3 million so far!