May/June Project, “Bags and Bedding”

It’s time to begin a new project but those of you still in the sewing dresses and shorts mode….carry on……the kids still need your beautiful clothing.  Classes at Marty Indian School end on May 19 but they will remain open and accepting donations until the end of June when summer school ends.  Donations for the shelter and youth center in Martin and the Wanblee area can be mailed anytime.

May/June  Bags and Bedding

  1. Bags – Totes, Backpacks/school bags, pencil cases, toiletry bags, duffels, diaper bags, messenger bags and purses.  Make totes ahead to be filled later with school supplies, Christmas gifts, toiletries, etc..
  2. Blankets/afghans/quilts/receiving blankets – all sizes baby through full/queen size.
  3. Sheets – crib through queen size
  4. Pillowcases/pillows
  5. Bath towels and wash cloths.  Washcloths are a good project for our knitters and crocheters, sewers can make them from old towels or terrycloth.

Bags are needed in all three donation areas and are used to carry everything from school supplies to diapers. You can work ahead on backpacks/messenger bags and pencil cases, they won’t be needed until school starts in August, our project for June/July is “Back to School”.  Add small items like rulers, erasers, etc. to your pencil cases.

Rape victims have to surrender all their clothing at the medical exam and are given new clothing, undergarments, shoes and toiletries.  Shelter director, Kimmie Clausen, says they like drawstring bags the size of a pillowcase to put these items in and a small drawstring or zippered bag for the toiletries.  The filled bags are then taken to the Four Directions Clinic in Kyle and given to women after their exams,  Kimmie says they’re so grateful to get them.  Toiletry bags are also given out to kids in need using the youth center in Martin, students at Marty Indian School and to residents at the shelter.  Don’t forget to include any hotel sized toiletries you might have in your next donation box, they’re always welcomed.

Medium sized totes or diaper bags are great for the Bright Start program and for moms coming to the CDC toward the end of the month in need of formula and/or diapers for their babies.   Clothing, toiletries, sanitary pads, etc. may also be given out at that time if they have them.  Families leaving the shelter need laundry/duffel sized bags to hold their clothing and other items they received while at the shelter.  Since most come with nothing but the clothes on their backs, Kimmie gives each member of the family clothing, toiletries, etc.

Shopping bags/totes can be used in all areas as they can put just about anything in them including groceries, the Rez would love to get rid of plastic bags but need a replacement for them.  Holiday themed bags are great for Christmas gifts and teens love toiletry bags, makeup bags, purses, etc.  Drawstring bags are great for keeping kids toys together like blocks, puzzles, etc.

Blankets are needed everywhere by everyone on the Rez.  A blanket is given to each child coming to the shelter and also to women needing one when leaving.  We added blankets to our project schedule early so you would have plenty of time to knit, crochet or sew before they’re needed next winter.  They make wonderful Christmas gifts and people are always so grateful to receive a beautiful afghan or quilt.  Sheet sets are always in demand in sizes twin, double/full and queen.  The shelter can use crib sheets as well.   If your set doesn’t have pillowcases they’re a quick and easy DIY project.  We sent many pillowcases to Wanblee this spring so they have enough for now, but they’re still needed at the shelter and Marty Indian School.  Clients leaving the shelter are given their pillow/pillowcase so they constantly need replacing.

Towels/washcloths are always near the top on the list of needs for the Rez.  Towels are something many families don’t have or if they do, not very many.  In addition to needing one to take a bath, kids use them for swim class and their school athletic programs.  Clients sneak towels out of the shelter so Kimmie has to constantly replace them, but her budget is extremely tight and she doesn’t always have the extra money to buy them.  Baby towels with hoods are needed as well.  Gently used towels, sheets and blankets are certainly welcome in all areas.

Most of these needs can be found at summer garage sales, thrift stores or your own closet.  Ask family members, church members and neighbors for donations, with shipping costs constantly on the rise we have to find bargains where we can and free is even better.  Addresses for donation areas can be found here.  We’ll soon be sharing pictures of the beautiful summer clothing our members have made or bought over the last two months.

We thank you for your continued support and generosity to the people of Pine Ridge and Marty Indian School.




2 thoughts on “May/June Project, “Bags and Bedding”

  1. I am thinking of making pillowcases that have a drawstring so that they can be used as a totebag or laundry bag as well. Would that be useful?


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