Utahns can donate wood from trees felled by the windstorm to help Navajo elders

Last week’s historic windstorm caused tremendous damage. It killed a man. Knocked over thousands of trees. Left more than 170,000 without power. And delayed school for many students studying from home.

So much destruction.

The Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake found a silver lining. The center started accepting donations of firewood, and many in northern Utah responded. That wood will be trucked to the Navajo Nation in San Juan County to help elders in Utah prepare for winter.

The firewood drive, held with the Utah Navajo Health System in Montezuma Creek, is still going on for those who want to help.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Samantha Eldridge and Tre Martinez help unload wood from fallen trees that is being donated to the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020.

Wood can be dropped off through Thursday at the Urban Indian Center at 120 W. 1300 South and at Esther’s Garden, 2425 E. Heritage Way (2760 South). Volunteers are welcome to help load the wood on Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Many elders heat their homes during winter using firewood to help alleviate the high cost of heating," said Mo Smith, executive director of the Urban Indian Center. "A donation of a supply of firewood helps support Native American elders during these difficult months.”