In 1845, the Great Famine hit Ireland. It lasted until 1849, and it was quite a sad time across the country.
Approximately 1 million people died due to starvation, and Ireland’s population took a hit, decreasing by 20 to 25%.
This was due to potato crops being affected by something called blight, which is basically a fungus that rots the potatoes.
More than 3 million Irish people relied upon potatoes as their major source of food, so because almost 75% of the potato crop was decimated due to the blight in 1846, famine and hunger were unpreventable.
Native Americans from the Choctaw tribe in an area now known as the Southeastern United States learned about the famine Ireland was experiencing, and they wanted to do what they could to help.
They were able to raise $170 and send it to those in need over in Ireland, which works out to be around $5,000 in today’s money.
GoFundMe; supplies purchased with money raised from the GoFundMe are pictured above
In an update shared on the GoFundMe page for the Navajo and Hopi, one of the organizers shared, “Several of our recent donations for our GoFundMe campaign have been inspired by the Great Hunger Famine in Ireland which started in 1845.”
“During this difficult time, in 1847, the Choctaw Nation provided $170 of relief aid to the Irish to help them (today that is the equivalent of $5,000).”
“Not long before the Great Hunger Famine in Ireland, 60,000 Native Americans, including the Choctaw people, had suffered through the experience of the Trail of Tears.”
“The death of many people on the Trail of Tears sparked empathy for the Irish people in their time of need. Thus, the Choctaw extended $170 of relief aid.”
“173 years later today, the favor is returned through generous donations from the Irish people to the Navajo Nation during our time of crisis.”
“A message from Irish donor, Pat Hayes, sent from Ireland across the ocean: “From Ireland, 170 years later, the favor is returned! To our Native American brothers and sisters in your moment of hardship.”
“The heartache is real. We have lost so many of our sacred Navajo elders and youth to (the virus). It is truly devastating. And a dark time in history for our Nation.”
“In moments like these, we are so grateful for the love and support we have received from all around the world. Acts of kindness from indigenous ancestors passed being reciprocated nearly 200 years later through blood memory and interconnectedness.”
“Thank you, IRELAND, for showing solidarity and being here for us.”
To date, the fundraiser has raised $3,389,030, with so many messages from recent donors saying they wanted to return the kindness shown to Ireland in their time of need.
You donate to the fundraiser here.
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