Believe it or not Christmas is rapidly approaching and kids on the Rez, just like the kids in your families, are anticipating it’s arrival with excitement. Many stores have had their Christmas displays up since the beginning of September so it’s not too early for our Sew For Kids members to start working on projects for the Christmas party. This year’s party will once again be hosted by Theresa and Jerome High Horse, with plenty of help from community members, and held on December 14th at the Kennedy Hall. We’re still waiting to hear if the Parade of Lights is on the list of events, this would be the second year for that parade.
This year SFK is joining up with Gloria Klomsten and Lisa Morris who work alongside Karl Ralian, Director of Worldwide Hunger Relief based in Wisconsin. Lisa and Gloria’s group provides some of the daily essentials for folks in the Wanblee area while Karl provides food for the area 3- 4 times a year and will provide the Christmas party dinner this year.
Gloria and Lisa visited the Rez this past summer to attend the July 4th party and while there talked with Theresa High Horse about plans for the Christmas party this year. They came up with the idea of a gift box for children in two age groups, 3-7 and 8-12, and estimated they would need a total of about 250 boxes. This is just a guesstimate and Theresa really couldn’t give any numbers of how many in each age group would show up or how many boys or girls there would be. Hopefully next year we can get parents to sign their children up if they plan to attend the party giving us a little more information to work with, in the meantime we’ll just have to do the best we can. Last year 700 people showed up with no more than 500 expected so it’s hard to plan parties on the Rez. Wanblee hosted the first Parade of Lights last year and people who heard about it showed up from other parts of the Reservation.
Gloria and Lisa have approached church groups and other groups, such as ours, to join with them and help them achieve this goal. Hearts of the Sacred Spirit (501c3 we work under) usually does a Christmas drive so am sure if they do it again they will help with the project as well. SFK really likes to work with other groups on projects as most people are on a limited budget these days and if we all work together much more can be accomplished.
This is a note from Gloria with a list of things they hope to put in the boxes.
CHRISTMAS GIFT BOX
WANBLEE COMMUNITY CHILDREN
PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION
14”x10”x6” boxes (already donated) will be packed with small gift items for 250 children in the Wanblee Community, Pine Ridge Reservation.
2 pair warm socks (Ages 3-7 child med/large, ages 8-12 sm/med adult size)
Mittens and hat (children sizes and small adult size)
1 reading book for ages 5-12. Picture books for ages 3 & 4.
Activity books, puzzles, craft items, sketch pads, etc.
Small notebooks, pencils with sharpeners, stickers, tattoos, crayons, scissors, etc.
Inexpensive toys-$10 price range possibly-card games, rubik’s cube, beanie babies. No cowboys & Indians.
No violent items (toy guns, etc or electronic toys or video games).
Thank you for any contributions made towards the project. Gloria “
Gloria and Lisa, along with many volunteers, plan to assemble the boxes in Wisconsin and the ladies will then deliver them to the Rez by truck early December for the party on the 14th. They decided this would be best for everyone as Theresa usually has so many things to do for the party and there simply isn’t enough room to store all those boxes at the High Horse’s.
Please join in on the fun and help the kids have a brighter Christmas this year. Recruit friends, family, co-workers, organizations or church groups to help you fill a box or two. Send items on the list from websites that offer free shipping like Amazon, Dollar General, etc. Make mittens and hats if you knit or crochet. Send a monetary donation if you prefer, any amount gratefully accepted. Monetary contributions for transportation costs are also welcome. These can be done in the form of Visa/MasterCard gift cards or checks made payable to Redeemer UCC church.
Contact me here for where to send in your donation. Thank you.
Gloria would like all donations to arrive by November 1st but will accept items until the 10th. Having put together 200 children’s gift boxes for Habitat for Humanity when I chaired the Family Committee, I can attest to the amount of work and time it takes to do a project of this size. Let us know here or on our Facebook page if you can help and what you may be sending so we can give Gloria an idea of what may be coming in.Take pictures of your donations and send to us so we can share with and inspire others.
Santa will once again be on the Rez handing out gifts, please help us stuff Santa’s bag to overflowing with gifts for children who without our help probably won’t be receiving anything for Christmas. We’ll be posting ideas and free patterns throughout October for things to make for the boxes, if you have a favorite pattern please share with us. Thanks for all you do for the Rez children!