Published December 9, 2017
ALBUQUERQUE — For the third year in a row, Shumakolowa Native Arts has partnered with the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW) to conduct a Giving Tree holiday book drive benefiting women and children who will spend the holidays in a shelter due to domestic violence. The drive takes place now through midnight on December 31. Donors are invited to purchase new books on behalf of the drive through Shumakolowa Native Arts. The donated books will then be distributed to domestic violence shelters across New Mexico to help women and children cope through connection and storytelling. Book donations can be made in-store at Shumakolowa Native Arts at 2401 12th St NW, or online at www.shumakolowa.com.
“Providing books for children and their families helps create a sense of normalcy; we are giving children an escape from any trauma they may have been exposed to while directly or indirectly witnessing violence in their homes. Really, what we are doing is trying to help kids be kids,” says Angel Charley, Membership and Outreach Coordinator for the Coalition.
“Studies show that children who witness violence in their homes may exhibit adjustment difficulties. These children also often have lower self-esteem and are prone to anxiousness, worry, and fear. Reading provides a safe escape for them and an opportunity for connection,” says Charley. “The simple act of reading a story where a child may identify with the protagonist begins a healing process. We specifically partner with Shumakolowa because they are able to provide culturally relevant options for our young readers.”
Many of the women and children living in these shelters have fled violent situations with little time to prepare, and are unable to bring personal belongings with them. In the absence of other toys or diversions, books provide much-needed comfort for people in these situations, as well as the opportunity to improve literacy and strengthen bonds as friends and family members read together.
“We at Shumakolowa Native Arts are dedicated to serving the Native communities of the Southwest year-round by promoting their rich traditions and providing a venue for their creative work to shine,” says Alejandria Rodriguez, Shumakolowa Native Arts Manager. “The Giving Tree book drive is our way of helping the families in greatest need each winter by giving women and children escaping violent situations access to books that celebrate their heritage and inspire hope. We’re proud to participate with CSVANW and invite anyone and everyone to give as they’re able in the spirit of the season.”
Shumakolowa Native Arts offers a broad selection of books that share Pueblo and Native American stories and traditions, including such titles as Whispers of the Wolf, Buffalo Bird Girl: A Hidatsa Story, Lewis Tewanima: Born to Run, Crazy Brave: A Memoir, The World of P’otsúnú: Geronima Cruz Montoya of San Juan Pueblo, and Words Like Love.
Donors are invited to choose which titles they’d like to donate to the book drive, then complete the donation at check-out either in-store or online. For online donations, the checkout code “GIVINGTREE” indicates the books are to be donated to the book drive. Shumakolowa Native Arts will run the Giving Tree book drive from November 24 through December 31.
This BBSNews article originally appeared on Native News Online.