Organizations continue accepting donations in response to the mine spill

Noel Lyn Smith The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Regional organizations are continuing to accept donations to help individuals impacted by the restrictions placed on the use of the Animas and San Juan rivers.

Both rivers were contaminated after more than 3 million gallons of toxic mine waste was released from the Gold King Mine in Colorado on Aug. 5.

Linda Mickey, executive director of San Juan United Way, said the organization will accept donations to assist impacted residents. The United Way will distribute the donations to the American Red Cross unless the donor specifies another organization, Mickey said in a telephone interview Friday. She added the United Way provided bottled water to the Red Cross to help that organization's effort to assist those affected by the river contamination.

The organization also received calls from individuals who were in search of shower facilities, Mickey said.

Calls to the Red Cross were not returned as of press time.

Information from the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President directs all donations and contributions for the tribe be made to Navajo United Way Inc. in Window Rock, Ariz.

Donations are being taken at any Wells Fargo bank location through the Navajo Nation Operation Yellow Water Relief Fund under an account ending in 3176.

On Tuesday, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez authorized Operation Tó Litso, which means "yellow water" in Navajo.

The president and vice president's authorization also activated the emergency operations center at the Navajo Division of Transportation in Tsé Bonito, as well as regional incident command posts in Shiprock and in Aneth and Oljato, both in Utah.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 and Follow her @nsmithdt on Twitter.