It’s that time again, running a little behind schedule as usual, but we’re always eager to begin a new project. Our yearly project schedule was posted last December and we do try to follow it as best we can, but special requests and emergencies do come up from time to time. We like to post a year’s worth of projects so you can look ahead to see what’s needed and find another project if the current one doesn’t interest you or you don’t have a particular skill. Looking ahead lets you shop ahead and take advantage of summer garage sales and store clearance sales. This month and next we’re concentrating on everything for back to school. School supplies are or will be on sale starting this month and summer clothing will be on the clearance racks. For our sewers purchase a top and make the pants/skirt or vice versa. For parents or grandparents of school age children, time to clean out the closets of outgrown clothing and send to the Rez for children in need.
- Paper – loose leaf, notebooks, construction, unlined, folders and safety scissors.
- Pencils – plain and fancy, colored, pencil sharpeners, pencil cases, pens, erasers, rulers.
- Crayons – and markers both thick and fine line.
- Glue – sticks and bottles of Elmer’s.
- Backpacks – purchased new or good used condition, home sewn too.
School Clothing 4T through 16/18
- Clothing – Pants, shirts, T shirts, skirts, dresses/jumpers with leggings for cooler weather, light jackets or hoodies
- Socks/Underwear, Pajamas – Underwear new only please.
- Shoes – Sturdier shoes are best as most don’t have winter boots. In sizes to fit K through grade 5 kids.
The new school year begins the 2nd or 3rd week of August in many areas, teachers will arrive a week before. Although colder weather usually begins in October, mornings and evenings can be cool in September. Shorts can still be worn for a month or so and after that may be used for gym class. As winter approaches girls will end up in jeans, but earlier in the school year they love to wear skirts and dresses. Light outerwear such as hoodies, fleece jackets and sweaters are worn until late October when the temps dip and heavier winter coats are wished for.
Socks and underwear are a continual need regardless of the season so watch for sales and stock up when the prices are low. Kids need at least 2-3 pairs each of underwear and socks so they can wash and dry the extras nightly and always have a clean pair ready. My kids thought turning them inside out added another day of wear!
Shoes are always needed by children as they’re rapidly outgrowing them, sometimes several times a year. Ideally we would like every child to have a new pair of shoes but we know that’s not going to happen with a small (although extremely generous!) group. Look for shoes and boots in good condition at garage sales, thrifts, or your own closet, maybe your kids have outgrown theirs over the summer. Most kids don’t own a pair of boots which is why extra socks are needed, they get wet feet walking to school and playing outside in the rain and snow. Slippers would be ideal for kids to put on when they get home from school and are an easy, portable project for knitters and crocheters.
Last but certainly not least are pajamas. This is considered a luxury item and kids get really excited when they get a pair. Buy a long sleeve T shirt and make the pants from flannel or fleece. Make a pillowcase too and send along with the PJ’s, they can always stuff it with clothes to make a pillow if they don’t have one.
Kimmie Clausen, Director of My Space Youth Center and the Sacred Shawl Domestic Abuse Center in Martin likes to have clothing and school supplies available to give out to children when school begins. Kids who are at the shelter more than 2 or 3 days are sent to school in Martin or bused to their home school if the distance is manageable. Kimmie knows which kids in the community are most in need and makes sure they’re outfitted for school, that is if she gets enough donations. Any surplus goes to the youth center where kids finish their homework and also to the local school for students in need.
Marty Indian school will put all donations in the Feather Store for students to earn through their feather points. Any child arriving without supplies will be given what they need to start school from the store.
Wanblee usually gets a shipment from Running Strong for school that includes shoes, backpacks and some school supplies. They might get a delivery from NAHA containing some school supplies and clothing but it’s really hit or miss. Other donations received are from Families Working Together from Wisconsin that helps with Christmas and Easter and is helping build the new community center.
With continually rising shipping costs free is best, ask friends, family, church members and co-workers for donations. Some of our members have gotten items free or at bargain prices from garage sales when they tell people about their cause.
Well that should be enough to keep everyone busy for the next two months! We are so grateful to each and every one of you that has chosen to help the children of Pine Ridge and Marty Indian School. Your hearts are big and your talents are awesome, thank you!!! If you want to join our working group, join us at Sew For Kids Volunteers on Facebook.
Please send your donations to the area of your choice here