Hello! And welcome to our blog. Janet, Lorna and I (Carol) would like to take a minute to introduce ourselves.
Janet is married and lives in Indiana. She works seasonally for a greenhouse, is an avid gardener in her free time and is a coordinator of a Community Supported Agriculture program during the summer months. She also sews and was employed at Hancock Fabrics for 15 years, knits and crochets. She is a member of her church’s Peace and Social Justice Commission which has done special projects for Pine Ridge and Red Cloud School which is how she become acquainted with the reservation. Visiting there ten years ago opened her eyes not only to the great need of these people but also to their fierce pride and independence.
Lorna is a single mom of three and grandmother to five and works full-time in a machine shop in Florida. She likes to crochet, read and keep herself busy. In her genealogy research she discovered that her great great grandfather was an Indian born in the Black Hills. Further research on the Lakota people and their issues led to a desire to help the elders and the children on Pine Ridge Reservation. Lorna has been helping the elders and children through her crochet group efforts.
I (Carol) am a retired physician, married, mother of two and grandmother to two and live in IIlinois. I am interested in children’s issues especially in areas where resources are limited and have a huge impact on the outcome of children’s lives. I have always been interested in Native American culture and having seen the result of poverty in Native American children it seemed like a natural place to help -especially since I love to sew, knit, and mentor children and moms. I also love gardening and doing sports with my husband.
There are other groups helping to meet the needs of the Native Americans on Pine Ridge. We’ve decided that our focus will be helping the children of the reservation (0-10 years of age). We plan to provide articles of clothing, activity items to educate, and basic need items but we would also like to assist new parents by providing support and educational materials. For example, we would like to supply and educate new parents with materials that will facilitate babywearing, swaddling and breastfeeding; all of which have proven benefits to both mother and child.
Our organization strongly believes that the early childhood environment has life long effects. Ensuring parent-child bonding, proper nutrition, safe environments and providing basic necessities such as clothing remain our primary goals as an organization. We also seek to nurture children by providing books and developmental toys. Proper attire will ensure that the children can go outside warmly dressed or go to school feeling comfortable in their clothing and will allow parents to use their meager resources for other necessities. Developmental toys and books and regular group activities will provide stimulation and help prepare them for academic success later in life. Breastfeeding support, formula donations and nutritional information will help them grow healthy bodies in a place where diabetes is far above the national average. Although there are very likely children across the United States who could benefit from our help we believe that these effects are often magnified by the isolation, poverty and lack of resources found on the reservation. Please join us in helping to give these children the same opportunities and love our children have.
If you do not sew you can help in many other ways; knitting or crocheting items, providing educational materials and activities for kids, providing warm clothing, toiletries and other essentials, spreading the word about this group and the kids of Pine Ridge, enlisting the help of others and sharing your projects and ideas with the group.
New posts will inform you of the current needs and happenings of the groups we are affiliated with and how your support is making a difference. Additionally, the Native Americans of the reservation with whom we work will use this forum to share their culture with us so we develop an understanding of each other’s lives.
Thanks in advance for your support and following us on this journey.