Youth Council member takes initiative to bring Christmas Cheer to tribal elders

On Dec. 23, the Akimel O’Odham/ Pee-Posh Youth Council (AOPPYC) delivered gifts and tokens of appreciation to the Caring House elderly residents and staff. AOPPYC members donated gift bags, which consisted of lip balm, lotions, facemasks, Epson salt, coffee, cookies, desserts, and other treats. AOPPYC At-Large Member Javonni Molina from Sacaton spearheaded the effort. Molina worked as a physical therapy tech at the Caring House and grew to admire the staff’s tireless efforts with the residents.

“I saw first-hand how every staff member goes above and beyond to provide respect, love, and care for every resident’s well-being,” said Molina.

This year is Molina’s first term on the AOPPYC, and she felt that it was the perfect chance for her to plan and execute projects that would benefit the Community. After pitching the idea to the AOPPYC, everyone was excited and supported, and she also credits her family’s support with motivating her to see it though. Molina wanted to share a gift of love and respect for the staff. She said, “Many staff may not even be from the Community, and that takes a big person to give to the residents.

During COVID-19 pandemic, Molina understands the lack of family interaction and hopes the gesture will uplift everyone’s spirits during the holiday while affirming that the Community’s youth care about their elders.