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2012 Birthday Project--The Zone featured in a "Navajo Times" article

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:53 pm
by Theresa
Here's a very nice article about the Birthday Project posted in the Navajo Times on September 13. (The picture is from the Forgotten People Facebook page.)


Tonto remembered them
Forgotten People get water systems, courtesy of Depp fans


By Cindy Yurth
Navajo Times
September 13, 2012

Image
Click to enlarge image
CHINLE—Volunteers are installing gravity-flow water systems for five families in the former Bennett Freeze this week, thanks—in a roundabout way—to Johnny Depp.

In honor of Depp’s birthday, members of the actor’s fan website Johnny Depp Zone, and Depp himself, contributed $7,750 to Project Pueblo, a California-based non-profit that connects college-age volunteers with service projects on the Navajo Nation.

“It’s the largest single donation to one of our projects we’ve ever gotten,” marveled Sean Wycliffe, who founded Project Pueblo with his brother Ryan in 2009.

Every year around June 9—the date Depp was born in 1963—Johnny Depp Zone starts fundraising for its annual Johnny Depp Birthday Project, explained Natalie, the webmaster for Johnny Depp Zone (like others behind the site, she keeps her last name secret to avoid becoming a target of “hackers and haters”).

Every year, the group targets a different charity. Natalie said that this year, Johnny Depp Zone was looking for a project on the Navajo Nation since the actor’s recently filmed movie “The Lone Ranger” was partially filmed here.
“Theresa’s (another Depp Zone member) diligent research tracked down Project Pueblo, and we were immediately impressed by their work, and by the fact they were working with people who had basically been forgotten and left to cope with the most horrendous conditions with no help at all,” Natalie said. “What happened with the Bennett Freeze area was totally unknown to all of us, and so shocking!”

His fans’ generosity did not go unnoticed by Depp, who kicked in some funds (Wycliffe wouldn’t reveal how much; Depp said he wanted his fans to get the credit) and wrote a letter to Natalie and her fellow “Zoners” from “The Lone Ranger” set in Creede, Colo., on June 16.

“I’m running out of superlatives for you lot!!!” wrote Depp. “Having spent some time with the beautiful people of the Navajo Nation, I am sure that your efforts here will prove to be hugely influential and in admiration of your continued benevolence, I will be making a donation for the very same purposes in your name.”

Wycliffe said one of the main needs expressed by the Forgotten People—an organization of residents in the former Bennett Freeze—is running water. Project Pueblo had installed simple gravity-flow systems for nine families in the past, and the donation enabled volunteers to purchase materials for five more.

Since obviously $7,750 isn’t enough to run a pipeline, the group relied on a design by Rita Sebastian, who has worked with people in the Bennett Freeze for years. It includes an elevated 405-gallon tank connected to plumbing and a sink in the house.

“They still have to get their water somewhere,” Wycliffe said, “but they can go for water once a month instead of twice a week.”

Less frequent trips mean families can afford to go farther, to a clean water source instead of relying on local springs, many of which are high in uranium, Wycliffe noted.

“It will make a huge difference for these five families,” he said.

Wycliffe said he’s trying to talk Depp into visiting the project, though it’s not certain the elders of the Bennett Freeze—who have been living for decades without electricity, much less television—would recognize him.

Re: 2012 Birthday Project--The Zone featured in "The Navajo Times" article

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:04 pm
by winona
Thank you Theresa! After a week of nothing but bad news, this was a bright spot! I'm so glad we could all make such an impact.

Re: 2012 Birthday Project--The Zone featured in "The Navajo Times" article

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:09 pm
by Joni
What a lovely article! :cloud9: Thanks for posting it, Theresa.

Re: 2012 Birthday Project--The Zone featured in "The Navajo Times" article

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:12 pm
by Lou Lou 63
:applause: :yahoo: This is so exciting, I am so proud to be involved in some small way in helping these wonderful people :bouquet: :heart2:

:thanks!: Theresa and PTP For everything you did in choosing this charity to support :bouquet:

Re: 2012 Birthday Project--The Zone featured in "The Navajo Times" article

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:20 pm
by mytreasure

How wonderful to see this! :) Thanks Theresa!

Re: 2012 Birthday Project--The Zone featured in "The Navajo Times" article

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:43 pm
by Baxendale Guitar
That is so awesome! :heart: Way to go everyone! :grouphug:

Re: 2012 Birthday Project--The Zone featured in "The Navajo Times" article

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:58 pm
by shadowydog
I'm grinning from ear to ear. :biggrin: :grin: :) . So wonderful to find out that our combined efforts are bringing something so valuable to these people. As I have posted before, growing up our underground water supply became polluted and we had to haul water in 20 gallon pails for over a year before a water line could be installed. So I understand how precious an available source of clean water is. I am happy for those who will now have fresh safe water. :love:

Re: 2012 Birthday Project--The Zone featured in "The Navajo Times" article

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:09 pm
by Kittycat88
How wonderful!! Lots of thanks to PtP and Theresa!! You guys are the best!!

Re: 2012 Birthday Project--The Zone featured in "The Navajo Times" article

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:26 pm
by marija
Hi Theresa,
Thanks for posting the article. Next year, I will also give a contribution, or can I still donate?
Thanks for your efforts, :rose: so that the project could be realized. :applause2:
Marija

Re: 2012 Birthday Project--The Zone featured in "The Navajo Times" article

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:08 pm
by jruoss
winona wrote:Thank you Theresa! After a week of nothing but bad news, this was a bright spot! I'm so glad we could all make such an impact.


Been away since Wednesday; just wondered what bad news you were referring to, unless it's personal?

Re: 2012 Birthday Project--The Zone featured in "The Navajo Times" article

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:20 pm
by Theresa
jruoss wrote:
winona wrote:Thank you Theresa! After a week of nothing but bad news, this was a bright spot! I'm so glad we could all make such an impact.


Been away since Wednesday; just wondered what bad news you were referring to, unless it's personal?

It's personal news, jruoss. Everything's fine with Johnny...he's currently in LA, filming.

Re: 2012 Birthday Project--The Zone featured in a "Navajo Times" article

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:41 pm
by fireflydances
I'm extremely impressed, this is the first time I've seen the article and wow, we've made a difference in some people's lives, and now a write-up. Very wonderful.

I am still thinking about those photos of the older couple sitting in their house. That felt very good, seeing them.

It's good to be part of something that creates good.

Re: 2012 Birthday Project--The Zone featured in "The Navajo Times" article

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:48 pm
by Theresa
marija wrote:Hi Theresa,
Thanks for posting the article. Next year, I will also give a contribution, or can I still donate?
Thanks for your efforts, :rose: so that the project could be realized. :applause2:
Marija

Marija, this year's birthday project is closed now, so we're not accepting any more donations. You can always donate directly to Project Pueblo if you like--a link to their donation page is on our first birthday announcement page.

Re: 2012 Birthday Project--The Zone featured in a "Navajo Times" article

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:09 pm
by part-time poet
I'm so proud of the Zone! :worldhug:

Many thanks again to Theresa for finding Project Pueblo, to all the Zoners who made this work possible, and to Johnny Depp for so graciously adding to our gift and being too humble to take any credit for it. What a guy. :hatsoff:

Thanks also to Sean and everyone who is working with Project Pueblo, and to Forgotten People. Being able to see the work taking place has made this such a special project for all of us. A blessing all around.

:grouphug:

Part-Time Poet

Re: 2012 Birthday Project--The Zone featured in a "Navajo Times" article

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:32 pm
by magpie
Thanks Theresa, that's a wonderful article. I'm so pleased to be a part of something that is truly improving lives, and to be able to follow exactly how our donations are put to work is special indeed.