It’s hard to believe we’re nearly through another year, the older you get the faster it goes! It’s been a busy year for me, not only at home but also on this blog. Many new volunteers have joined us this year from across the US and beyond ,each bringing their special talents to help our Rez kids and their families and sharing their knowledge with the old timers of the group. Because of our commitment to help Wanblee and the surrounding communities people are coming together and working on projects that benefits everyone from babies to elders. Sew For Kids is working together with Pine Ridge Elders, Hearts of the Sacred Spirit, Lakota Friends Circle, Halfknits and a new home repair group to make a difference in the community. NAHA brings a truck (Jerome never knows what will come in) at least once a month to Wanblee with things like clothing, cleaning supplies and toiletries and Running Strong provides some food for families during the holiday season. Jerome and Theresa are elated with all the help and support they’ve received this past year and since all the positive things have been happening in the area there have been no suicides for the past couple of years which is a blessing.
The Thanksgiving/Sobriety dinner dance was a huge success with over 250 people attending. Donations came from some of our volunteers in the form of cash as well as those folks that stuffed the corners of their boxes with food items. 12 turkeys and 8 hams were roasted and served, some provided by Running Strong and the rest purchased from Safeway where Jerome was able to talk the manager into reducing the price to 39 cents a pound. NAHA brought onions and potatoes which was a surprise as they rarely bring food on their trucks. Jerome and Theresa’s daughters baked 24 loaves of banana bread, 70 lbs. of biscuits from 50-lbs of flour , 36 pies which they served with cool whip, 4 sheet cakes, 5 lbs. of stuffing , 60- lbs of mashed potatoes , gravy and cranberries. 15 gals of Gatorade, 100 cups of coffee, and 5 of gals tea were drunk. All I can say is WOW! There was plenty of food so no one went home hungry. A live band performed for the dance, their fee paid for by a drug/alcohol treatment organization. Below are some pictures of the celebration.
The Christmas party will be held December 13 and the High Horses expect it to be much as it was last year when 700 people attended, 400-500 of them children. The kids came from Wanblee and the surrounding areas, Rosebud reservation and other places on the Rez. Word got out about the Parade of Lights, the first and still only one on the Rez and the great Christmas party they have in Wanblee, so weather permitting many will attend as all are welcomed if they can get there. This will be the third year for the Parade of Lights, schools and other organizations and the local people are all part of the parade. The kids have fun helping decorate the floats and also riding on them. Three winners are chosen for the best floats. Santa, one of Jerome’s biking buddies, shows up to hand out the gifts and looks pretty authentic as he has a long, white beard. Many kids have given it a tug to see if it’s real.
If you have still have things to send for the party try to get them off by mid week as the volunteers need time to put the gifts in order and because the weather can turn nasty at any time. Please send your items here .
Judging by the number of gifts coming from our group and others the kids and their families should have a great day. Theresa and Jerome make sure to take bags to local children who don’t have transportation to the party and also to elders and the disabled who can’t attend. The Christmas tree they decorate is raffled off at the end of the party and some lucky family gets to take it home. Many families can’t afford a tree so this is a real treat for the kids as it’s decorated and comes with lights. Usually the artificial tree comes in on a NAHA truck but a real one can be cut down if needed.
Since the Thanksgiving party just happened, the High Horses were intending to serve only cookies and hot chocolate with marshmallows at the Christmas party and provide each child with a bag containing fresh fruit (a real treat for many), nuts and a few candies. However, after much discussion, it was decided that if they could get the resources for chicken soup and sandwiches, they would serve a meal and maybe have enough leftovers to send a sandwich home with each child. Some kids receive only 2 meals a day so this is something that would be appreciated. Theresa and Jerome’s daughters will once again do the baking but since they both have jobs they may need to purchase a few boxes to have enough for everyone.
So here’s what we’re suggesting…..If you have room in your box stick in a few cans of meat or tuna for sandwiches, or a bag of popping corn, marshmallows, cocoa, or a bag of candy. If you want to contribute to to the other needs (bread, chicken, veggies, etc.) monetary donations would be welcome and can be sent here to this 501c3 that works with us in Wanblee. No donation is too small, any amount is greatly appreciated. Lakota Friends Circle’s website should be up soon and a direct deposit will be possible in the future but for now we have to do it this way. If they don’t get enough funding for the food they will go back to the original plan of cookies and hot chocolate.
Lakota Friends Circle
c/o Anne Fields
2415 Amberbrook Lane
Grayson GA 30017
Donations for the fruit and nut bags for the children can also be made to the above address, they will need to purchase these items by the 11th.
Peanuts 25lb box – $35.00 x 3
Apples 100 count – $26.00 x 3
Oranges 100 count box – $35.00 x 3
Again no amount is too small, since many of you have already given plenty for the party now might be the time to ask friends, family, or coworkers to chip in a few dollars for the cause. Small donations add up quickly.
This is the last SFK project for 2014. We will post projects for next year in a few days and will have a blog about the party and our accomplishments of the past year, but then we’re all going to take a break and enjoy our family and friends off the Rez until January 1, 2015.
We want to send out a special thanks to all of you for making this Christmas party a reality for the kids. Although many of you help with most of the activities on the Rez, SFK only “officially” helps with the Easter and Christmas parties, the latter being the big event of the year with the most people attending and the one kids are most excited about. To the kids and to us YOU are the BEST!