National Relief Charities is a nonprofit organization that has spent 20 years making a difference in the lives of Native Americans living on remote reservations. National Relief Charities works to raise awareness of the vast and isolated nature of many Native American reservations, as well as to provide direct aid to tribal communities with little access to healthcare, education, and basic utilities such as water, food, and electricity. National Relief Charities works with economically depressed reservations in ways that help tribal programs work toward self-sufficiency. National Relief Charities maintains multiple programs that assist Native Americans living on about 65 reservations. One of the programs of National Relief Charities, the Sioux Nation Relief Fund, helps Sioux Indians living on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The Pine Ridge Reservation encompasses two of the United States’ poorest counties. As of 2006, the reservation had an unemployment rate of 86 percent, which contrasts starkly with the national average of 9.1 percent. The majority of the Sioux population on Pine Ridge lives below the poverty line, with median incomes of $3,500 a year. National Relief Charities, recognizing the difficulties of gaining employment in this remote area, created the Sioux Nation Relief Fund (SNRF), which works through donors to provide such items as clothing, baby products, food, and toiletries. National Relief Charities outreaches to reservation programs concerned with nutrition, families, and healthcare, and assists them through the provision of SNRF goods and services. Maintaining the National Relief Charities' focus of encouraging positive change within communities, the SNRF program gives a helping hand to those in need, while empowering tribes by providing opportunities for community volunteerism such as helping in the distribution of goods.
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