Santa’s workshop has been in full production over the last few months because of all the little elves who have been working behind the scenes making and buying items that will bring smiles and laughter to many children when Santa arrives on the Rez December 14th with his bag of goodies. Sew For Kids has been blessed with so many elves using their talents, time and energy to ensure that there will be gifts for all the children who attend.
Last year 700 people showed up and only 500 were expected. People came from Wanblee and its surrounding communities, from Rosebud Reservation, and from the main campus of Pine Ridge Reservation, 110 miles from Wanblee, having heard about it through relatives in Wanblee or the moccasin trail. Also last year 160 bags of goodies were put together for 160 people/families in need who could not attend , who were shut ins or who had no transportation to get to the event. NAHA ( Native American Heritage Association) sent in the food goodies for the Christmas distribution.
This weekend Gloria Klomsten whom you sent your items to for the Christmas boxes and her little elves were busy assembling the boxes. There are still items coming in to her and to the Rez so the elves work will not be completed until she arrives on the Rez. Theresa has been putting aside the boxes you sent, but does dip into them if a child or an adult has a need.
As you can see from the photos, Santa’s workshop received books, puzzles, school supplies, dolls, stuffed animals, cars, games,hats, blankets, mittens etc. My co-worker, Janet, on Sew For Kids and her husband Dave, headed to Gloria’s yesterday, loaded down with goodies in their van that she and members of her family and community have been collecting over the year. Since they do not live too far from Gloria’s , this was a great opportunity to send items to the Rez and save on the mailing costs. Janet and her sister- in -law Ruth also bought large containers of canned food so that Jerome and Theresa can use it to feed the men, for events etc and to feed those who might come knocking on the door. A continual soup cooking on the stove is a common site in many homes, maybe not too nourishing but sure hits the spot when you are hungry and cold.
While we will not be there to see the kids enjoying the Christmas party we will be getting photos of the event and will be sharing all with you. Last year’s event was so much fun, starting with the first ever Parade of Lights on the Rez , then Santa’s arrival, followed by the distribution of gifts and lastly a good meal. A cute incident that happened while the kids were lined up to see Santa, made me chuckle. One of the kids who had already visited with Santa, got out of line, opened his present then started to bud into the line again. Jerome asked him why he was doing that. He said” I just got to let Santa know that he gave me exactly what I wanted -a dinosaur”. He was one very happy camper and a true believer in Santa Claus.
The party will take place in the Kennedy Hall. Again this year, Theresa and Jerome will get a crew of people on the Rez to help cut down and put up the Christmas tree, decorate the hall and make the food which will be on the truck when Gloria heads to the Rez the second week of December. Last year everyone got a meal and everyone got a bag lunch to take home with them so they would have another meal they could depend upon. With the food a big issue this year, any extra food they can get will be a welcome gift.
So you can see from past events that there is lots of work ahead in the next month. With volunteers on and off the Rez, working hard to make this event happen, this turns out to be a fun and memorable day for all. Sew For Kids thanks all of you for your support. And we also want to thank Jerome and Theresa High Horse who organize the event and make it happen.