Easter comes early this year, March 27, and the Wanblee party is scheduled for March 19 which is rapidly approaching. Sorry for getting this information out so late but as you know, things move at a different pace on the Rez and we just received the party plans. We agree to help with two parties a year, Christmas and Easter, so we’ll do what we can to make it a special day for the kids. This is a particularly busy time as we’re also helping with the reading project at Crazy Horse School highlighted in the previous blog, and the baby project which we started in January.
So with that in mind, we’ve decided to keep the Easter project simple this year. Other groups that have helped with parties in the past received the same needs list so we won’t be their only resource. The party is a fun time for the kids but also for the entire community as they can finally get out after a long winter and enjoy good company and good food. It’s especially fun for elders as most never had a party nor attended one during their childhood. Jerome was just interviewed by a local reporter for a newspaper article, “What it’s like to be hungry”, he directed the reporter to local families so he could hear firsthand what it’s like to experience hunger on a daily basis.
They expect about 350 people to attend with 150 -200 of those being children, although that number can vary from year to year. Jerome and Theresa plan to serve hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, raw vegetables, cookies, and drinks at an outdoor cookout. If the long term weather forecast is accurate, the day will be between 47- 52 degrees which is warm enough to cook outside. They will need money to purchase the food, donations can be sent to Lakota Friends Circle here. Last year they spent $350 for food so any amount you send will be greatly appreciated. Any food left over is always sent home with needy families.
There will be an Easter egg hunt so they’ll need small trinkets and candy to fill the plastic eggs. Last year they collected as many eggs from the kids as possible so they don’t have to keep buying so many each year. One of our group members sent a lot of eggs to Jerome last year after the party to use for this year. They can always use more so if you have any extras please send them along in your box. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate last year and the egg hunt had to be held in the Kennedy Hall, the kids had fun but it didn’t have the excitement of an outdoor hunt so we’re crossing our fingers the forecast for good weather holds. They will have two egg hunts, one for the kids and one for elders.
Raffles are part of the day and each year they give away 2- 16 inch and 2 -20 inch bikes, one for each gender in each size. If you’d like to help purchase the bikes donations can be made to Lakota Friends Circle here. They could also use Easter baskets with a theme such as kitchen, bath, personal care, etc. to be raffled off for the elders.
Although most of the Easter eggs are filled with candy and trinkets there are some that contain a special “prize” ticket, those receiving one of these lucky eggs heads off to the prize table. They need simple gifts for the prizes such as craft supplies, school supplies, books, trucks, kites, beanies, basketballs, footballs, soccer balls, sand toys, plastic horses, dinosaurs, or other small toys. Prizes for the elders will be whatever they have on hand from things we’ve sent or from the NAHA truck like hats, gloves, toiletries, etc. In addition to these things they would love to have coffee, tea, kitchen and bath items, etc. Not every egg has a special prize ticket but each child will receive a treat bag containing granola bars, fruit, raisins, candy, etc. The more of these treats that are donated the more money Jerome will have to purchase fresh fruit from the local market.
We want the kids and the whole community to have a special day, so whatever you can donate will help make that happen. We are so grateful for your continuing, generous support of the children of Pine Ridge!
Thanks as always from Sew For Kids.