Gerry (Mrs. Dave) Evans, PHS Nurse & Navajo kids - 12-21-60 - AZ Rep, PHX, Pg 24
Santa For Navajo Pupils Gets Help From Nurse By JEAN DUFFY v »••.. PAGE—Each year the Navajo Tribal Council appropriates funds for the purchase purchase of clothing for the Navajo children enrolled in school. The ordering and distribution distribution is handled at the Page schools by Mrs. Dave (Gerry) Evans, the school nurse. Mrs. Evans is an excellent choice to play Santa Clans to these children she knows so well, having, as she says, "wiped small noses for the past three years and dispensed sympathy, advice, and bandages bandages to the older Navajo boys and girls"." It is the purpose of this program to provide provide every needy Navajo child with a basic wardrobe. The clothing the girls receive receive includes shoes, overshoes, socks, underclothing, underclothing, jeans, skirt, blouse, dress, and coat. The boys receive shoes, overshoes, socks, underclothing, jeans, shirt, polo shirt, and jacket. Twenty-eight girls and 32 boys attending attending school in Page received this gift from the Tribal Council this year. Mrs. Evans's Christmas project begins in September, when she calls each child to her room to be measured. The order is filled out and mailed in October. For the next two months, she is approached nearly every day by a Navajo child asking anxiously, "Have the packages come yet." The parcels have been known to arrive as early as Thanksgiving, but this year they were delivered just three weeks before before Christmas. One end of a classroom was assigned to the large cartons with space for Mrs. Evans to sort, wrap, and tie the clothing clothing into individual bundles bearing each child's name. Since each category of clothing clothing comes packed in its own box, Mrs. Evans must decide what little girl would look prettiest in one style of dress, or who is partial to blue, or to saddle oxfords. Mrs. Evans says it is just like Christmas shopping for a family of 60 children. She does this work in the evenings and welcomes welcomes volunteer help. Finally all the decisions are made, the clothing allotted and packaged. With the wisdom gained from the first year's experience, experience, Mrs. Evans does not distribute the gifts until school is out for the day and the school bus, on which most of the youngsters ride, is ready to leave for the reservation homes. Navajo people rarely show emotion but, as each child hugs his bundle, the bright eyes show the happy anticipation he is trying so hard to conceal.