Thank You - Pilamaya!
We would like to offer our warmest thanks to the many individuals from all over the globe whose generous donations make our work possible.
Warm Feet Happy Hearts
"Providing socks and warming the feet of every child … 10 toes at a time."
- Warm Feet Happy Hearts has collected and donated 700 pairs of children's socks and boys underwear to the children of Pine Ridge!
- Cabot Cheese has graciously donated cheese to be added to our food program deliveries.
- Tom Richmond initiated the Lentils/Barley Chili Soup mix that has been added to our food program deliveries!
There are also several amazing children who have found unique ways to give to the Lakota community. We would like to thank in particular Yngvar, George and Cody, who have not only made a difference, but are a great inspiration to us all.
A special thank you also to our corporate supporters, including:
|Target||Sierra Trading Post||Cabela's||Singing Horse Trading Post|
The following are some of the things that we and the Lakota People have already been able to accomplish. In addition to the program list below, we:
- were the first on the ground with urgently needed supplies when the reservation was hit with a blizzard;
- supplied a new pump, installed by the Lakota, to give a grandmother and her grandchildren water in their home;
- purchased new wood stoves for elders;
- helped meet urgent needs of families and elders.
These and the accomplishments of the programs happened because of the involvement of each of you who gave monetary donations, sponsored a child or elder, participated in the Okini program, bought food through our Food Program, gave of your time and expertise or publicized the story of the Lakota and their efforts to care for their people.
We are grateful for your help and proud of what we have done together.
"....most of all the best accomplishment can not be measured by money alone. The men will have made a stand for their community and in a place where there are almost no chances of making a living these men will earn a few dollars for their families in a good way."
-John DuBray, describing the wood program.
Men on the reservation cut, split and delivered wood to over 100 families and elders throughout the winter.
The Lakota people delivered wood, blankets, lanterns, food, and other emergency supplies.
There were 1000 families and elders who have received room heaters top rated for effectiveness, efficiency, and safety.
"Last month's delivery was so welcome and so helpful. Thank you."
Monthly food deliveries feeding over 1000 people reached an annual value of more than $100,000.
Each month, the Lakota people unload delivery trucks, sort and deliver food around the reservation. At many homes where they stopped, they took the food inside and put it in the refrigerator for the elders.
The following is from an Auntie caring for 4 of her nieces and nephews:
"Our family had the awesome experience of participating in the Si Tanka Wookiksuye. My nephew, Cyrus participated in the ride and we supported him throughout the ride in hopes that things will begin to change for him.
He has experienced a lot in his thirteen years and our prayers as well as his were to not only pray for all our relatives but to pray for him as well. As many people know, alcoholism, drugs, social problems from these issues are rampant across the reservation. The problems associated with a mother who drinks while pregnant has a lifetime effect on a child. It has been my experience to try to deal with these effects and it has been a real struggle. It makes me wonder just how many of our sacred children across the reservation are experiencing these effects and who is helping them if even they are getting help.
Cyrus loves riding horses and had a great experience while on the Big Foot Ride. He said he was anxious everyday to ride and to feel free. He met a lot of different people and had a chance see the "world" in a new perspective.
I strongly believe that equine therapy will be a new avenue of seeking help he so desperately needs. The belief of our people is that we are one with the winged, the four legged, the plants and so it is with this in mind that I want for Cyrus as well as other children throughout the reservation to be able to experience this oneness.
It is my prayer that children throughout the reservation get help for issues they are dealing with and go back to our traditional ways of life.
My prayers to friends and relatives, near and far."
In the "Ride Across the Homeland" event, 50 young people rode horseback for 5 days across the reservation - through rain, snow, sleet, a blizzard, and finally sunshine. The purpose of this event is to reacquaint the youth with the place they call home and to have them understand their history and who they are.
The Big Foot Ride, a 5 day ride which commemorates of Wounded Knee and Big Foot, the leader of the Lakota at the time of the massacre had 250 participants - 90% of whom were youth. The ride is a rite of passage for the youth.
In Allen, the young people are continuing to make and paint drums that we sell for them both here and in Europe. They are very good and their drums sell for $150 to $400.
Over the past couple of years, more than 700 people have sponsored children and elders on Pine Ridge Reservation for varying lengths of time. As the national and world economies have faltered, many found traditional sponsorship financially difficult. Recently, the numbers of children and elders waiting for sponsors rose to more than 1100.
Service manager, Regina Hay, and the Area Service Coordinators, are developing a variety of ways that people can "sponsor" a child, elder or family - ways that are responsive to the needs of both the families and the sponsor.
The Lakota children, elders and families are thankful to the people who have helped through the sponsorship program. During our evaluation of the program, they spoke enthusiastically about the friendships they had developed, the help they receive and the wonderful feeling of knowing that people care about them.
"Everything I received has been clean and of good quality especially the shoes. I would like to say Thank You to all the people who help us. Its nice to know that people think about us."
The Okini program has proven invaluable in its ability to meet urgent needs of Lakota families. The recent evaluation of the program showed that needs posted with Okini were met quickly and both clothing and household items were judged by the families as being of superb quality. As a continual work in progress, it is ever expanding to become more efficient and responsive. Rosalie Janis and her daughters on the reservation work hard to ensure that items are distributed quickly, where they are most needed.
We thank you for your dedication and commitment.
The ONE Spirit Staff