Monday, January 23, 2012

When You Just Have to Do Something....

I get a lot of emails from readers asking for advice, requesting look-ups, or searching for other information. Many times, after I do what I can to help, they ask what they can do to repay me or if I want money for helping them. Absolutely not. I do this so people have a place to get accurate information on Cherokee history and good advice on how to search for Cherokee ancestry or do one's Cherokee genealogy.  As long as people learn and myths are dispelled, I am happy. But, still some people feel they really must do something. If you are one of these people (and you know who you are!), my advice is and has always been to pay it forward. You are free to pay it forward in anyway you want, but since I am asked so often, I thought I would share a little information about my favorite charity.

War Pony Community Outreach Inc. is a 501 (3) c non profit organization. It was founded by Cherokees; Raymond Vann, Sioux Smith-Vann, Jack Christie and Art Floyd. It's mission is to serve the people in the 14 county service area of the Cherokee Nation and to help provide those in need with necessities to improve their quality of life. Though War Pony assists anyone who requests help, its main clients are Cherokee.

In the beginning, War Pony was well funded and thrived, but with the downward spiral of the economy,  donations have decreased. But through Raymond Vann's vigilance and hard work, War Pony has still managed to obtain food, furniture, clothing, or whatever is needed when they are called upon for help. Raymond works tirelessly serving the Cherokee people in need and sometimes provides help out of his own pocket if War Pony funds are depleted.

Just a few of the things War Pony has helped with in the past are: water well and minor home repairs; referrals to legal aid resources; emergency assistance with food and diapers; utility payments; rental assistance; job referrals; and providing Christmas gifts. War Pony also has a list of other agencies and resources to send people to if they are not able to help.


Though there are other charities operating within the Cherokee Nation service area, War Pony is the only one I know that, though not limited to, primarily provides help to Cherokees. Some other charities may use the name Cherokee or say they are operated by Cherokees, but that doesn't mean they primarily help Cherokees and it doesn't even mean they are all actually Cherokees providing the help. It just means they use the word. So, if you are looking for a charity that primarily provides help for the Cherokee people, War Pony is the only one I would recommend. 

Donations can be sent to:

War Pony Community Outreach Inc.
c/o Raymond Vann
21828 N Ben George Rd
Tahlequah, OK 74464

or call (918)458-9095 for more information.

Those are my thoughts for today. Thanks for reading. And remember, Pay It Forward!

***Note - In 2010, Raymond Vann was recognized for his work through War Pony at the AARP Indian Elders Honors. ***

copyright 2012, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB

1 comment:

  1. Excellent article. Thank you for what you do, and for promoting a most worthy organization as War Pony. Ray Vann is one of the best Cherokee I've had the pleasure to talk to.


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