Well February has come and gone and we’re sure most of you are saying “Yippee” with all the terrible weather everyone’s been having. There was a silver lining to being snowbound, our volunteers had plenty of time to craft and sew for the Easter party coming up on April 4th. There are some beautiful things heading to Wanblee and we hope to be sharing some pictures with you soon, we have some really talented seamstresses in our group and their donations are absolutely stunning. Just to remind everyone Jerome’s wish list for the Easter party is plastic eggs and small trinkets to stuff them with, toys including cars, dolls, puzzles, games, balls, stuffed animals, and Easter baskets/bags given to those finding a “lucky” egg. They also hold a special drawing every year which the kids look forward to with much excitement because the prizes are new bikes, 2 for girls and 2 for boys. Each year they hope to find donors who will sponsor the cost of the bikes, they’re usually purchased from Walmart for around $50 each. Jerome and Theresa will purchase the bikes themselves if no donations come in but hopefully together we can raise enough money to help them out.
Weather permitting the party will be held outside with a barbecue after the egg hunt but may have to be moved inside the Kennedy Hall as spring weather is unpredictable. Food will include hot dogs, buns, baked beans, chips and a variety of drinks. They never know how many people will show up but plan to serve at least 500 with folks eagerly taking home any leftovers. Plastic eggs are still needed so any you can send would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully this will be the last time we’ll be asking for eggs or at least not so many, they’re requiring kids to turn them in before they pick up their treat bags so they can reuse them next year. For the treat bags they still need fruit, nuts, raisins, and granola/energy bars. They will add a couple pieces of candy to each bag, donated by NAHA, but don’t need any more as they’re trying to give kids healthier food. If you wish to make a donation to help pay for the food or bikes, you can paypal or email a donation to Lakota Friends Circle, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, thru paypal (email address- email@example.com) or by mailing a check to Lakota Friends Circle, 2415 Amberbrook Lane Grayson, GA 30017. We’ll let you know when the organization’s website is up which should be very soon. Theresa High Horse is on the board of this organization. Please indicate on your donation it is for the Easter party.
Movie night is being held weekly on Friday nights in the Kennedy Hall, fortunately the High Horses’ daughter and son-in-law are hosting, so that Jerome and Theresa do not have to be out every night of the week! Popcorn and drink items are always needed and gives the kids a real theater experience. Carol M. from Maine recently sent a large bag of popcorn so that should last for a while. Bingo night is held every week as well, mainly for the elders but other adults do attend as well as the grandchildren the elders care for, a common occurrence on the Rez. Food is served if they’ve received some on the NAHA truck or from a food bank visit. Recently a request was made for more bingo cards as the elders wanted to play 6 at a time so they could increase their chances of winning a prize. Once again Carol M. filled that request sending in 3000 cards!! They can always use small items for bingo prizes such as a small can of coffee, tuna or other meat, a washcloth, bar of soap, puzzle book, book, etc., nothing expensive just something to make it fun. Since elders are respected on the Rez, the High Horses are hoping to work with them to develop plans which makes their lives better and that of their children and grandchildren.
Some of you might have seen on our Facebook page or Yahoo group that several kids in various areas of the Rez have attempted suicide with several succeeding. The Wanblee area has not seen any attempts for the last 3 years which Jerome feels is due to all the outside help they’ve received allowing them to hold activities for the kids which gives them something to do and gives them hope for the future. The High Horses recognize that you are all making a difference in your own way and thank you for your continued support and generosity. Theresa is organizing a suicide prevention meeting at Crazy Horse School to be held in the near future.
The Sewing Circle is meeting on Tuesday nights so we’re hoping to hear what they’ve been working on soon. In the near future we might be sending some beginning sewing projects for kids to work on at the meetings along with the members so they can learn a new skill. We’ll let you know more about that project later. The Woodchucks and Jerome were able to get several loads of wood from a ranch north of Kadoka. Ranchers need to keep their creeks free of fallen branches to make water available for their animals and the Woodchucks help them by clearing the wood out and at the same time help their community stay warm with firewood for their woodstoves. Thanks to those of you who sent in a donation to help with gas to deliver the wood. Hearts of the Sacred Spirit provided propane to several families who were without in the Wanblee area this winter. Hearts helps the Wanblee area but will also help anyone who calls in need on Pine Ridge or Rosebud reservations if they have the funds. They are always in need of donations as they get so many calls for help during the harsh winters on the Rez. Thanks for all you do Hearts, please help them if you can.
The NAHA truck recently showed up with goods mostly donated from Walmart. A family, whose home had recently been destroyed by fire, was able to replace many clothing and household items they had lost, thankfully the tribe found them a trailer to live in. Jerome says many young moms come to them to get things for their families but also come just to have someone to talk to and get advice about their problems as they don’t have a family they can turn to. Jerome and Theresa made a recent trip to Rapid City to purchase food at the food bank with funds provided by Families Working Together, a non profit from Wisconsin operated by their good friends Bob and Mary Epps. Bob is a contractor so their main interest is in rehabbing homes and building a community center in Wanblee where families can come to learn new skills and participate in family activities. They are temporarily providing funds for food since the need is so great and could use donations in any amount. Their website is currently undergoing redesign so the PayPal button isn’t working, we’ll provide a link to their site when it’s operational.
Jerome’s next construction project is roofing the home of 2 brothers, one a Desert Storm veteran the other a diabetic on dialysis. One of the brothers works but dosen’t earn enough money to afford the supplies and labor costs of a new roof. Bob and Mary’s organization will be working on this project along with any local volunteers and will be needing donations to buy shingles and other supplies. Jerome needed a nail gun, a small portable air compressor to operate the gun, and a couple of cordless drills to complete this job and once again generous donors stepped up to fill the need. Cynthia K, owner of the Yahoo group Pine Ridge Elders, provided funds for the nail gun and compressor and Diane from NM, one of the group’s members, purchased a cordless drill. The tools will be helpful in Jerome’s many other projects around the area as well such as outhouse and handicapped ramp construction, and the raised garden beds, dog houses, bed frames, etc. that are made from the NAHA pallets.
Theresa wants to give baking lessons to people in the community, especially young women, making bread and other items. They’ll be making both the traditional raised bread and quick breads so she could use baking soda and packets of yeast. A local man won 1st prize in the “Good Cooking With Commodities” competition and has offered to give a demonstration of his winning recipe which will be held soon in the Kennedy Hall. Another project discussed was installing some clothes lines for families and trying to find some wringer washers. We need your help in finding the washers and will provide more information once the project begins.
Finally Jerome asked if we could help provide sugar (Truvia, Splenda, etc. for diabetics) and coffee to take to elders in the far reaching areas he travels to. Coffee and sugar are not usually available at the food bank and the elders absolutely love their coffee. When he is lucky enough to get any it’s divided into smaller portions so more elders can receive some. Small cans of tuna or other meat are always appreciated and are a good source of protein. If you would like to help and don’t want to shop or mail a package donations can always be sent to Lakota Friends Circle, just mention how you want your donation used.
Well that’s all the news for now, we do want to post pictures of Easter donations and recognize all our wonderful volunteers in a future blog, for now please accept our gratitude for your countless hours of sewing and crafting and for sharing yourself with us and our Lakota friends. We would love to have others join our Sew For Kids Volunteers on Facebook or Sew For Lakota Kids on Yahoo and craft along with us. There are 2 Ravelry groups ( knitting and crocheting) helping the Rez as well- For the Children of Pine Ridge and Sew For Lakota Kids.
Gifts for the party should be sent here. Thanks from Sew For Kids.