COLUMBIA—Members of Whaley Street United Methodist Church have been working for months gathering clothes, school supplies and gifts that will be packed into brightly wrapped boxes and sent to children of the Navajo Nation this Christmas.
Known as The Navajo Project, this ministry connects churches who want to minister with children at Christmas to churches within the Navajo Nation.
The Navajo Project was begun by the Rev. Charles Whatley, a retired United Methodist pastor in Ochlocknee, Ga.
Bonnie Moore, a member of Whaley Street, discovered the Navajo Project through her sister’s church in Savannah, Ga. Since that time, Whaley Street has become a regular contributor to the project.
Church members collect items all during the year. In October, church members pack individual boxes with age-appropriate clothes and gifts.
Each box is gift-wrapped.
Gift boxes, divided by age and gender, provide presents for children from infancy to 14 years of age.
This year, Whaley Street will send 150 Christmas boxes to join those from other churches and organizations that support The Navajo Project, said church pastor the Rev. Susan D. Culler. Two trailers of Christmas boxes will be delivered directly to churches and community centers within the Navajo Nation.
The Navajo Nation is an American Indian territory covering almost 18 million acres and occupying portions of northeastern Arizona, southeastern Utah and northwestern New Mexico in the United States. This is the largest land area retained by a Native American tribe in the United States.