By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Poarch Band of Creek Indians and the tribe’s affiliated hospitality division each made significant donations designed to help offset the effects of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
PCI’s gift, a $500,000 donation, went to Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) to enhance the department’s COVID-19 response capabilities.
Gov. Kay Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris agreed that Poarch’s generosity would affect the whole state.
“Each county in the state will benefit from the donation,” Harris said. “Much-needed testing equipment and supplies will be purchased for county health departments. We are especially grateful because the tribe’s partnership and support of public health will enhance our capabilities to reach rural, underserved areas of the state.”
“I commend the Poarch Creek Indians for their generosity during this time,” she said. “These funds will save lives and greatly assist the state in our battle of COVID-19.”
PCI’s CEO and Tribal Chairwoman Stephanie Bryan said she and tribal officials are glad to help.
“The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is proud to be able to assist the state of Alabama in battling COVID-19,” Bryan said. “We recognize that access to testing is a critical component of safely reopening our economy and are compelled to assist the state in controlling the spread of COVID-19.”
Wind Creek Hospitality’s donation went to Alabama Food Bank Association AFBA). The $50,000 gift, which promises “critical support” in helping the association provide 250,000 meals to Alabama families during the ongoing pandemic.
The donation comes at a critical time for Alabama’s food banks, which have been taxed by an increased demand or need during the unprecedented crisis. Children can no longer depend on school meals, families are struggling with lost wages, and senior citizens are more at risk for hunger than ever before.
AFBA Executive Director Laura Lester said the WCH donation would provide ample assistance in helping feed the state’s hungry.
“Because of the generous support from Wind Creek, our food banks are able to serve families experiencing economic crisis during this pandemic,” Lester said. “Our network’s hunger-relief programs help deliver millions of pounds of nutritious food to the communities we serve across Alabama.”
Magi Williams, Wind Creek’s director of public relations, explained that WCH was just trying to be a good neighbor.
“Wind Creek isn’t on the front lines of the pandemic crisis, but we want to support those who are,” Williams said. “We’re proud to come alongside the Alabama Food Bank Association in providing food and hope to families and children who need it most.”
The donations come on the heels of recent tribal gifts that included $1 million for Atmore Community Hospital’s fight against the deadly virus, and the purchase of a new Bloodmobile for the American Red Cross.