Dale Bellisfield, a herbalist nurse in private practice in Pine-Strawberry, has become a cultural bridge to the Hopi Nation, bringing needed supplies to the remote community.

As the excursion manager for the Verde Valley Archaeology Center in Camp Verde, she got to know the artists and the Hopi people.

Hearing about the Navajo Nation’s struggles, Bellisfield wondered how she could help the Hopi, who are located in the middle of the Navajo Nation, a population of under 3,000.

“If you’ve not been to Hopi, they’re standard of living is very poor, it belies the richness of their spiritual life,” she said.

In the 12 villages of Hopi, many homes do not have electricity or running water and while it is often by choice, it’s a standard of living that has been dramatically affected by the quarantine.

“They depend on tourism for income. Many of them are artists,” said Bellisfield. “They can’t make an income, and they didn’t have much to begin with. If they could buy supplies, there is not much there. The local stores, like many of ours, don’t have many supplies even if people could afford them.”

The stores are struggling in part because the village is restricting traffic to residents only to protect the community from COVID-19.

They have stopped all ceremonies, she said. Spring is planting season and the native population has a long tradition of ceremonies this time of year.

Bellisfield reached out and was put in contact with a community security administrator who gathered a list of things they needed.

Reaching out to the Rim Country community, Bellisfield was able to gather the supplies.

“We were able to mobilize 100 gallons of water (other requested items), and $800 to help pay for what wasn’t donated,” she said. “I am very proud of our Pine and Payson community for coming through.

“Hopefully this will be the first of many runs.

“Everybody shares it’s a communal culture, nothing goes to waste,” she said. “They were extremely grateful, the Hopi are lovely.”

If you would like to help, Bellisfield has a new list of requested items: disinfectant wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, facial tissues, luncheon meat, hot dogs, eggs, canned soup, canned meat, canned corn, string beans and peas, rice, dry beans, coffee, creamer, crackers, sugar, flour, shampoo, soap, razors, toothpaste and brushes, deodorant, laundry soap, bleach and fabric softener.

If you have items to donate, contact Bellisfield at 201-759-5134.

Monetary donations can be made online at verdevalleyarchaeology.org, look for the “Hope for Hopi” button.

She is also looking for grocery store partners and corporate partners.

If you know someone doing outstanding work here in Pine-Strawberry, let me know. You can reach me myndibrogdon@msn.com.

Sign makes couple smileRic Hawthorne, a phlebotomist/lab assistant at Banner Payson Medical Center and his wife Julie, a physical therapist at Payson Care Center, have had some significant changes at their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The lab environment at BPMC has been challenging, there has been a learning curve from the top down,” he said. “It has been seriously stressful at times, but we have a great lab and team.”

“The regulatory changes and process updates have been challenging, but we are making it work to ensure our patients remain safe,” Julie said.

Recognizing that the husband-wife team are a part of our first line in Rim Country, an anonymous community member left the homemade sign “Thank You Rim Country Healthcare Workers” in their Pine yard.

“It got me choked up,” Ric said.

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