Last year’s baby project was for the Wanblee area which you can read more about in this blog . This year our focus will be supplying baby items to the shelter and the recently built Lacreek Medical Clinic . We decided to make the change because the shelter is now open and in need of things for babies which will be an ongoing need as more women and children arrive to escape their abusive situations. The health center is in need of baby/toddler items to give out to women that come in with their children for wellness/immunization check-ups . Wanblee is only 30 miles from Martin (a short distance for the Rez), so their residents can use the clinic and also pick up any baby things they may need from Kimmie at the shelter. The Health clinic in Wanblee was not able to accept items and the Public Health nurse had no place to store them except at the High Horses. There is now a lack of storage at the High Horses because the storage truck at the High Horse’s is currently full of building materials needed to rehab homes. This is one of the reasons they’re hoping to build a community center in Wanblee this year or next.
The blog is later than we’d like but “Rez time” is slow and making contact with reps there, can be a little trying to say the least. Kimmie has very little spare time as she’s been dealing with other issues, like assuring there’s enough money in the bank to pay employees and finding a repairman to fix the broken furnace. Although she received many grants for the shelter, it takes time for the money to start coming in. Even with all the grants there still won’t be enough money to cover every cost of running the shelter. Your monetary donations are always welcome of course, but our group can also help provide the day to day needs of clients for which there is no money.
The shelter which serves the entire Rez, will need basic things for babies and toddlers including shirts/tops, pants, shorts, sweaters/hoodies, coats, buntings, mittens, hats, sleepers, sleep sacks, PJ’s, onesies, socks, underwear, and shoes (many arrive barefoot). They also need receiving blankets, warm blankets, burp cloths, bibs, diaper bags, diapers… both cloth and disposable, baby bottles and brushes, baby wash, and diaper cream. Many of these things will leave with the client if they don’t have resources for their children.
The clinic’s community heath representative and the nurse doing well baby check ups would like our help with filling 25 diaper bags for distribution to new mothers. Often times women arrive home after delivery with nothing for the care of their new baby. They do receive a bag of diapers and some formula while at the hospital, but most of that is gone by the time they’re released. Breastfeeding is strongly encouraged and hopefully their first choice, but the reality is many women can’t breastfeed because of taking medications, substance abuse, or other health reasons. Teen mothers are less likely to breastfeed as they’re not mature enough emotionally or physically, feeling discomfort and lack of education may be issues with all age groups. WIC does provide breast pumps for women returning to work or school, but many lack the motivation to do it. All women are encouraged to return to high school or college as soon as possible or work towards getting their diploma via the Virtual GED program. Pell grants allow women who already have their GED to attend the local community college. Those mothers needing a crib or pack and play can get one from WIC but could use extra sheets as only one is supplied with the bed. Public Safety provides a car seat to mothers that need one (to leave the hospital), but they’ll soon need to purchase another as it only fits babies up to 20 lbs.
Diaper bags will need the following: powdered formula, baby bottles and bottle brush, baby wash, diaper cream, diapers sizes 1-4, wipes, changing pad, washcloth, towel, burp cloth, bib, socks, receiving blanket, warm blanket, and clothing including onesies, sleepers, sleep sack, sweater, pants, infant outfits in sizes 0/3 months or larger. Pre-owned items in gently used condition are always acceptable. At times both the shelter and clinic will receive diapers and formula but the supply isn’t reliable and there’s a constant need for both. SNAP usually lasts a family about 3 weeks instead of 4 so women are out trying to find or borrow supplies until the first of the month. We want to prevent mothers from giving their babies Kool Aid during the last week of the month and also would like them to have some cloth diapers on hand so they can keep their baby clean and dry. Our hope is they will get accustomed to using cloth diapers and ask for more.
We’re especially happy to hear women will soon be receiving some education about health and family issues. Health care workers and shelter personnel will be giving educational seminars to women at the community center on the topics of parenting, baby care, healthy eating, budgeting, judicial issues, breastfeeding, immunizations, etc.
So please join us this month and next making warm and wonderful items for all those little bundles of joy being born on the Rez. Imagine what it will mean for a new mother with nothing for her little one, to receive a filled diaper bag! Whatever you can make or purchase for the project is desperately needed and will be used, we’re so grateful for your help! If you want a charitable tax form , use this form designed by Penny Nickols, a member of Sew For Kids Volunteer Facebook group ,keeping a copy for yourself and asking the shelter personnel to sign, date the donation and send back in the SASE , enclosed . Thank you Penny for designing this form.
Please send all donations to the shelter at the address below. Please enclose a SASE in the box visible to the receivers.
Sacred Shawl Society
c/o Kimmie Claussen
PO Box 488
Martin, SD 57551
Via Fedex or UPS
Sacred Shawl Society
c/o Kimmie Clausen
401 5th Street
Martin, SD 57551
As always, thanks from Sew For Kids!