Good Deeds

You'll Be Surprised How A Good Deed 200 Years Ago Is Being Repaid - And Then Some!

How people in Ireland are supporting Native Americans who reached out to them during a difficult time.

Most people are familiar with the saying, "What goes around, comes around."

While some may not believe in the idea of 'karma,' the principles aren't hard to follow: if you do good, expect good to come to you. If your actions are bad, you may get something negative in return.

As the coronavirus continues to spread and people are struggling as the economy largely remains on lockdown, we're seeing the results of good karma in action.

A recent example is the Native American tribes who started a fundraiser to help their communities that have been hard-hit by the virus.

The fundraiser has helped to deliver food and medical supplies to tribes that have been hard-hit by the virus. GoFundMe

Shortly after starting the charity, the organizers received a large number of donations from people in Ireland; a population their ancestors showed the same generosity to nearly 200 years ago.

It's well-known in Irish history that the American Choctaw tribe sent money to Ireland when they were hit with the potato famine in 1845. The famine caused almost a million deaths in Ireland, mainly among poor farmers who died from hunger or disease.

The Great Famine, also known as the Great Hunger, was one of the first humanitarian crises to be reported on by early media sources, which brought in donations from all over the world.

Volunteers have been working to get clean water, food and other supplies to struggling families on Navajo and Hopi reservations. GoFundMe

When the Choctaws heard about the famine, they were sympathetic, since they had recently been through their own crisis, a forced migration known as the Trail of Tears that also resulted in many deaths.

Even after dealing with their own tragedy, the Choctaw tribe gathered a donation of $170 to send to the Irish people – an amount that would equal more than $5,000 today.

The 'Kindred Spirits' monument in Midleton, County Cork, Ireland commemorates the 1847 donation made by the Choctaw tribe.

Fast forward to 2020.

Thanks to social media, word of the tribe's fundraiser spread and more than $500,000 in donations poured in from Irish donors. The funds will go to providing clean water, food and health supplies for Navajo and Hopi families who have been directly affected by Covid-19.

"I'd already known what the Choctaw did in the famine, so short a time after they'd been through the Trail of Tears," Sean Callahan, 43, an Apple administrator in Cork City who made a donation, told the New York Times. "It always struck me for its kindness and generosity, and I see that too in the Irish people. It seemed the right time to try and pay it back in kind."

Native Americans distribute supplies for elderly residents. GoFundMe

The Native American communities are thankful, but not all that surprised, by the uptick in donations from their longtime Irish allies.

"We have become kindred spirits with the Irish in the years since the Irish potato famine," Gary Batton, chief of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, said. "We hope the Irish, Navajo and Hopi peoples develop lasting friendships, as we have."

As of Wednesday, the The Navajo & Hopi Families Covid-19 Relief Fund has raised over $2.5 million dollars.

Volunteers have been on the ground since March getting food, clean water and supplies to reservations across the country. GoFundMe

How can you start something good?

You can join the Irish and help Native Americans struggling during the coronavirus panedmic by donating to the Navajo & Hopi Families Covid-19 Relief Fund.

The Conversation
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