Our last blog focused on making blankets and afghans, this one is about the other two requests for the month, pajamas and pillowcases/pillows. Last February many of you made pillowcases for the kids and some of you even sent the pillows to go in them. This project was a huge success on the Rez and Theresa was astonished at just how much the kids loved them. They were first given out in March to some of the school kids who were going on an overnight trip and who didn’t have a pillow or a pillowcase. Needless to say they were thrilled to have a nice soft place to lay their head for the trip not to mention it was theirs to take home afterwards! Pillows and pillowcases continued to come in so a few weeks ago Theresa was meeting with a group of children and she pulled out them out and told the kids to help themselves if they needed one. One of the boys was so excited to get one with his favorite dinosaur on it, others were just happy to finally have a pillow of their very own. Sadly there wasn’t a pillow for everyone that needed one. Since the need is so great and they were so well received by the children Theresa would love to have another give away of pillows and pillowcases at the Christmas party. This is a quick sewing project that’s easy on the budget and pillows can be found online many times with free shipping. We’ll share links if we find a sale on pillows and please let us know if you find a good deal. You can refer back to this blog to see samples and patterns for making pillowcases. You can make them for all ages as the tweens and teens love them too. They can be made extra special for the younger kids by adding a pocket to the front so they can put in their favorite bedtime book or a special stuffed animal or their PJs as seen in these links. Use age appropriate fabric and please no owls or coyotes. Horses are very dear to kids on the Rez as are dogs so they would love a pillowcase with them; basketball and soccer are favorites too and a cute Christmas theme would be fun as well. If you don’t sew you can still participate by sending a pillow or two.
Warm pajamas for kids is another need that would also be a great Christmas gift. PJ’s add another layer of warmth to help keep those little bodies toasty on cold winter nights. We’ve made PJs before you can review in this blog, just skip down to the relevant part. This project was a big success too as so many kids don’t have PJ’s and go to bed in their street clothes. Use bright colors, kid prints, try color blocking, an applique just be creative and have fun. Keeping them warm is most important so if you don’t have kids prints and have some warm fabric make a pair anyway. Knitters and crocheters , we need you to make slippers to keep little feet warm on those cold, drafty floors. My grandkids love to get clothes, PJ’S, underwear and socks and believe it or not they are some of their favorite gifts.
Rez News for September
Jerome called today and was so excited about all the great donations coming in from our generous supporters. He’s recovering from his knee surgery and is progressing but is still in a lot of pain as there are several rods connecting the joint. He is doing physiotherapy twice a week in Rapid City and several of the Woodchucks have volunteered to drive him as it will be a while before he can drive himself. It’s so wonderful to hear they’re on the receiving end this time as they do so much for others. Theresa either can’t or doesn’t like to drive so this eases her burden of getting him to his appointments and she’s only too happy to have a hot meal waiting when they return. Having the boxes to open is a diversion for Jerome during his rehab and he and Theresa are always amazed at your generosity.
Jerome is getting stir crazy and wants to get back to work on his projects. He went out to supervise the Woodchucks cutting wood for the winter project but had to come home when he found himself wanting to pick up a saw and help, something he’s not to do per doctor’s orders. They are behind schedule and need to get the wood stacked as the group from Wisconsin didn’t get to the Rez early enough to help with the project before they started building Bernadette’s house. Her home still needs the floor finished, wood stove installed and a few other finishing touches which will be done by Jerome’s construction friends from Wisconsin. Snow arrived this past week and stayed on the ground a couple of days so winter isn’t too far away. The heating assistance program on the Rez doesn’t start until October so another reason for cutting wood now. Many, many thanks to those who’ve already sent the Woodchucks boots, coats, warm mittens and hats, and had oil delivered for the saws to get them ready for the season. Having the proper clothing is a blessing to these men when they’re out in the cold weather cutting, chopping and delivering wood. Jerome has plans to make a storage shed from some of the old pallets so the wood can stay dry, for now they’re using tarps but they still have to dig the wood out from under mounds of snow before they can deliver it. Hearts of the Sacred Spirit is providing the 2X4’s for the frame and has also put out an appeal for help with their heating assistance program and warm winter clothing and blanket drive, please help if you can. SFK is a program of Hearts so we’re already working on the clothing and blankets.
Theresa said the sewing circle is meeting on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Kennedy Center when available, it’s also used for funerals, wakes, etc. She has loaned out the machines to some of the women so they can work on projects during the rest of the week but they bring the machines back to class so others can use them. We’re waiting patiently to receive some pics of their projects. The group has received batting, fabric and lots of notions so a big thanks to those that sent these supplies that have allowed them to get this project up and running. We’re hoping they can sell some of their things to raise money to purchase more supplies. We have asked for a list of items still needed and will post when received.
Theresa and Jerome are no longer receiving food from the food bank in Rapid City as they’re partnership with Worldwide Hunger Relief has ended, they’re hoping another 501c3 will step up and help them with this vital need. They had received about $350 worth of food from the food bank that was shared with 30-40 families each month. Because of this loss they are so grateful for all the food items that have come in – the small tins of spam, ham, chicken and tuna feed the hungry kids who come knocking at their door and are also given to families to add to their soup pot for extra nutrition. They’ve also received peanut butter, (need jelly for pbj’s), cereal, coffee, tea, sugar, soup, beans, boxed milk and many other food items. Jerome repackages items like coffee, sugar and flour into smaller quantities so more families can be helped. Running Strong will bring food at the holidays so that will help some. So many thanks to all of you who fill up that small leftover space in your box with food items. Gift certificates to Walmart and Sam’s are always welcome, food can be purchased there whenever the High Horse’s go to Rapid City. Online shoppers can send food from Amazon, Dollar General and many other stores with free shipping and DG offers special discounts so it pays to sign up for their mailing list.
Theresa and Jerome have been asked to host the Halloween party again this year. It was not their intention but flyers had already been put up around town so felt obligated. Word has gotten out to other parts of the Rez and people have been asking if they can come too, of course everyone is welcome. Kids and adults will dress up for a “zombie walk” around town, games will be played with small prizes and they’ll have prizes for the 3 best adult and children’s costumes. Although SFK “officially” helps with only the Christmas and Easter parties we are putting the information out for those of you that may want to help with this party. Jerome and Theresa’s main goal is to help children, whether it’s by putting food on their tables, keeping their homes warm, providing clothing or school supplies, or by providing some fun activities to help relieve them from the day to day hardships they face living on the Rez. They are so grateful to all of you and realize that none of this would be possible without your continued, generous support.
Wanblee Halloween Party at the Kennedy Center, October 25 3:00 pm – “Zombie Walk” 5:00 pm– Chili supper with fry bread, pumpkin pie and lemonade 7:00 pm– Carnival: Featuring Cookie, Popcorn ball, Pop and Make-up booths and Cake Walk Costume contest: 1st prize – Gift Box, 2nd prize – Blanket Set, 3rd prize – Food Box Theresa and Jerome plan to shop for food at Walmart or Sam’s club in Rapid City. If you want to send a gift certificate it can be sent here as well as any other items you make this month. You can also send a check to a newly formed, soon to be 501c3, they’re just waiting for their “official” letter from the IRS:
Lakota Friends Circle
c/o Anne Fields
2415 Amberbrook Lane
Grayson GA 30017
Theresa will buy the favors and small prizes for the games at the dollar store. If you’re sending a box soon she may use some of those things as prizes. The larger gifts for the best costumes might not be a problem as they’ve already received such great things from all of you they sometimes put aside for special occasions. Theresa’s sister usually makes the cupcakes for the cake walk but they can always use regular popcorn for the popcorn balls. Theresa will make the chili, fry bread (she makes a pretty mean fry bread!) and the pumpkin pies. If you have any extra metal pie plates they would be great for Theresa so she doesn’t have to keep buying the aluminum ones for every party. Cookies and candy will need to be purchased so add a few bucks in an envelope to the next box you send or add a bag of candy if you have room.
Well that’s the wrap-up for the month of September, keep sewing, knitting and crocheting to keep our kids warm this winter. This blog is a little late but blankets, pj’s, and pillows/pillowcases are an ongoing need and can be sent any time. Christmas is rapidly approaching so the next blog will have some ideas and patterns for gifts. Thanks as always from Sew For Kids.