Winter Warmth Project Successful

January is quickly coming to an end and we want to thank all of you that helped make the Winter Warmth project so successful . Over the last three months SFK volunteers have crafted and/or purchased hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, socks, boots, warm clothing, coats and blankets. You helped fill the High Horse shelves to overflowing with all the warm winter gear people in Wanblee so desperately needed. This year when Jerome and Theresa  received a phone call or a knock on their door asking for something warm they were able to say, “Yes we can help with that”. You responded to special needs, the daycare center reopened the other day and many of the children didn’t have warm coats, hats or mittens. A couple from our group sent coats from  the J C Penney winter sale and there were still mittens and hats from the Winter Warmth project to give out so several children went home that day smiling and very warm. Nurse Debbie picked up several boxes of donations for babies and children she’ll give out during clinics at the WIC office and on her home visits she makes to new mothers. You were so generous that she couldn’t fit everything in her car, but the High Horse’s will keep the surplus safe in the new storage trailer until she’s ready for more. Many elders are much warmer sitting in their chairs because they have new afghans, blankets and slippers made by our dedicated and talented supporters.  Many elders are diabetic and keeping their feet warm is extremely important. And several girls got a big surprise this year when some wonderful dresses showed up for them, made by Dress A Girl Around the World- Tucson. That helped raise some kids’ self esteem and made them feel special!

Recently the men that deliver wood and NAHA boxes to people living in remote areas had to stop deliveries because it was so brutally cold and they were so poorly dressed that it would’ve been a danger to their health to continue. Once again you came to their aid providing everything they needed so they could bundle up and resume their vitally important deliveries. People need the NAHA boxes to make it to the end of the month because food the government donates to Native Americans, which was decided upon by treaties in the past, only lasts 3 weeks. Without outside help from NAHA (Native American Heritage Association), Worldwide Hunger Relief, Hearts of the Sacred Spirit and from people like yourselves our Lakota friends would be in an even worse situation than they currently are. While these organizations aren’t able to provide assistance every month they do help in the critical winter months when needs are the greatest.

Jerome High Horse sent me a link to this video on You Tube produced by NAHA that shows their important work in the Native American community. Theresa and Jerome are highlighted in the film because they recently took over the local NAHA  program so food would get into the hands of people that desperately needed it.

Now that the daycare center has reopened we anticipate many requests for needs that can’t be met by parents so keep working on anything for babies (no newborn sizes) and children through age 12.  WIC  helps pregnant and nursing mothers and their children through age 5 with food, education, etc. and always need items to hand out when their clients come in. Since nurse Debbie sees her patients at the WIC office we’re hoping  to coordinate their needs together.

We’re ending our final post of the month with some links to free patterns for warm winter gear for those of you that like to work ahead for this fall’s project.  We don’t want those knitters and crocheters sitting around on these long winter nights with nothing to do! Janet, my SFK sidekick, has set up a Pinterest site with different boards for sewing, knitting, crocheting, etc. We have one just for winter sewing patterns so check that out if you have time, also send along your favorite pattern if we don’t have it. Here’s a pattern for mittens sewn from recycled felted wool sweaters ( or use fleece) for those of you wanting to try something new. This link is for Janet’s current favorite knitting project, a cowl she especially likes it because it double wraps around the neck and can be pulled up over the head for those cold SD winters, not to mention it’s an easy, mindless project. Knitting Pattern Central is a great place to find free patterns if you haven’t joined Ravelry yet.  Crocheters learn FPDC with this pattern, or how about a tiger hat for fun, or browse more free patterns here . I’m just finishing up sewing buttons on the baby sweaters I knitted over this past month and will post pictures soon. We would love to post pictures of your finished projects too so please send them along.

Again thanks to everyone that contributed to the winter program, your efforts were especially important this year with the early arrival of a colder and snowier than usual winter season and with all the cuts made to government programs.  You’ve helped many people in the Wanblee area and beyond to stay a little warmer this winter.  SFK has the most talented and generous people on the net!  New month, new project next blog.

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