Cherokee Day of Caring

The Cherokee Day of Caring is a wonderful opportunity to practice ga-du-gi on an individual level.

Overview

For many centuries, the Cherokee have assisted members of their tribe who have needed help—tending gardens, fixing roofs, rebuilding fire-damaged houses, etc. In 2005, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Preservation Foundation and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort built on this ga-du-gi tradition of community service by organizing and sponsoring a new annual event called Cherokee Day of Caring.

Day of Caring 11 home in Big Cove Cherokee Day of Caring

During the daylong event held each summer, several hundred members of the tribe help ten families or individuals in particular need, lending a hand with painting, yard clean up, gardening, and even widening a door so it can accommodate a wheelchair. Each community club within the ten communities on the Qualla Boundary nominates a beneficiary of the community endeavor. The volunteers accomplish an amazing amount of work in a short time, and the people they help are very appreciative.

The event is topped off by the recognition of ten Quiet Heroes who have served their communities unselfishly. A Good Neighbor Award is also presented; it honors someone who has significantly helped members of the EBCI, but who is not a member of the Tribe. Award recipients are nominated by the community clubs.

The Cherokee Day of Caring is a wonderful opportunity to practice ga-du-gi on an individual level.