Sacred Shawl and Youth Center Updates – Martin SD

The shelter has received funds from one of the many grants Kimmie Clausen, the Director,  has applied for and she hired additional staff bringing the total number of employees up to 7 which means shorter hours and less work for everyone.  They’ve been busy at the shelter (unfortunately) but are pleased they can provide a safe haven for women in crises, the Martin community is busy putting together a team of responders- nurses, MD’S, mental health professionals, and social workers to help people in need.  They recently set up a sweat lodge, or Inipi in Lakota, which means “to live again”, at the shelter and will be held every Thursday night for women who are current or past residents of the shelter.  This ceremony purifies and heals the body, helps the participant gain strength and power, and is a spiritual rebirth.  Kimmie would like to start a women’s support group for past clients of the shelter so they can develop a network of women that help each other with their day to day struggles.  They’ve also been doing a weekly program on KILI radio speaking about various topics that are relevant to the community.

Kimmie was disappointed that she ran out of money before work could be completed on the two rooms above the garage, she really needs the space but will now have to apply for more grants before work can resume.  She also needs to update some furnishings and flooring in the shelter as after a year of serving clients things are starting to show quite a bit of wear and tear.   The carpeting needs to be replaced with tile which would be easier to maintain, two windows are beyond repair and will need replacing, new mattresses are needed in some of the rooms despite being covered and some of the furniture is looking pretty worn.  Outdoors they need more gravel on the road leading to the shelter as it gets very muddy when it rains and they need to fence the property to help protect and contain the children.  Parents do accompany their children outside but there’s always a risk they can be grabbed by a non-custodial parent or relative.

The shelter recently learned the Four Directions clinic in Kyle, (they perform screening after a rape) has had funds amounting to $875,000 for the last 4 years that was intended to be used for a domestic abuse shelter.  Kimmie spoke to the clinic and the tribe about allowing her to use some of the money to operate the current shelter since the fund isn’t large enough to build and operate a new one.  She has asked tribal officials for their help and any amount they received could help with maintenance and upgrades they currently can’t afford.  There is funding to operate the shelter for two more years, (only bare bones necessities), that is assuming the new federal administration doesn’t cut funding as has been rumored.

Kimmie is very appreciative of everything coming in, sometimes daily, and wants to thank all of you for your continuing generosity and support.  She said bags are needed (pillowcase size) for the Four Directions Clinic  that are filled with women’s items and given to those that surrender their clothing for a rape investigation.  Also needed are diaper bags for Bright Start , emergency bags for women coming at the end of the month for formula and diapers, and bags to hold clients belongings when leaving the shelter.   We will have a Bag Project coming up in May/June to fill some of these needs, more information coming in the May blog.

The My Space Youth center hasn’t been open as much as Kimmie would have liked this winter because of staffing issues.  She prefers to have the kids at the center as some get into trouble when home alone, she has come in personally on many of the snow days for just this reason.  Thankfully she just received a $25,000 grant for two JR/SR college students (male and female) to be there when the center is open.  Kimmie wanted the staff to be old enough to be responsible but young enough to relate to the kids.  They will be doing crafts, playing games, helping with reading and homework, making snacks and supervising the computer.  The SD extension office is going to work with the center to build raised garden beds this summer and the kids are hoping to visit some of the sacred Lakota sites such as Bear Butte, Wind Cave and the Black Hills.

Youth in the community, ages 10-16, have been meeting with elders and other adults on weekends for the past few months to learn about caring and respecting their bodies physically, emotionally and spiritually.  They are learning to refrain from drug and alcohol use, about reproduction and forming healthy relationships.  Elders have been teaching the youth about Lakota culture and how some of the old ways still fit into today’s society.

Girls learned how to make beef jerky, gather turnips, sweet grass and sage.  They are making their own moccasins and beaded medicine bags which they’ll wear hidden in their bras.  Girls who’ve had their first menstrual cycle are making a ceremonial dress from gingham for Isnati Awicalowanpi   or their coming of age ceremony.  They will go into isolation for 4 days where women (mothers and female elders) will wait on them, feed them, teach them Lakota culture and give them their spiritual name.  Their name is given to them by an elder who has worked with them over the past 4 months.

Boys also learn Lakota culture from male elders, learn traditional crafts and make a Vision Quest  after which they will be given their spiritual name.  Both boys and girls will also participate in the sweat lodge or Inipi ceremony.

These spiritual coming of age ceremonies are an important part of traditional Lakota Culture and can be a life changing experience for any youth but especially for those at risk.  These ceremonies were made possible by a grant Kimmie received which covered all costs including something for the elders.

SFK members are busy working on kid’s summer clothing for the shelter, youth center, Wanblee and the Marty School students.   Please continue working on your clothing projects through April.  You can view the spreadsheet here to see our progress and what is still needed.

We can’t thank you enough for sharing your time, talents and treasures with the children of Pine Ridge and Marty Indian School.  We are so grateful to each and every one of you!

March/April Summer Clothing Project


Spring is just around the corner and kids will soon be out shooting baskets and hitting the playground. They’re probably getting pretty restless by now as many have been shut in all winter because they lack proper clothing to brave the elements.  Kids are starting to look forward to the end of the school year and the beginning of their summer vacation.  So to help them start their vacation off on the right foot, our project for the next two months will be sewing or buying summer clothing.  Any clothing left from last year is either worn out or has been outgrown and passed down to younger siblings.  If this project doesn’t appeal to you, please choose another from our list of projects here.  Some of our members work ahead on Christmas gifts and quilts or other projects that are time consuming.  You can always send basics such as socks, underwear, shoes, diapers, toiletries, etc., these needs are ongoing.

Children’s Summer Clothing – Kids 3T to 16/18 and Babies 0 to 24 months

  • Shorts, capris, lightweight pants, leggings.
  • Shirts, t shirts, tank tops
  • Dresses and skirts
  • Bathing suits, both genders.  Wanblee has a pool kids can use at the school.  
  • Sun hats, baseball caps
  • Shoes – sandals, flip-flops, canvas or other summer shoes.  New or gently used.
  • Sunscreen



Women’s Shelter Needs – Sizes S to XXL or 5/6 to 18/20 up

  • Shorts, capris, pants/jeans
  • Shirts, t shirts
  • Shoes including sandals and flip-flops, all sizes up to 11
  • Underwear sizes 6 to 9 mostly needed, larger ones ok too, new only.
  • Bras – sports type M/XL and regular bras, most requested size 36C as can use  for 36 and 38 size woman if need be.  Gently used are welcomed and women love those with a little lace.


Some of our members are wonderful seamstresses and love sewing skirts and dresses for the girls.  They have been very well received in the past especially by pre-teens. Kimmie, shelter director, loves to see the girls in their dresses around town and will even wash and iron them when needed so they look nice. Theresa High Horse says she sees the girls wearing their dresses at Pow Wow’s during the summer.  Mothers are always commenting how beautiful and professional looking the dresses are and wishing they could sew that well.

Girls love to dress up for special occasions like church, parties, Sun Dance’s, Pow Wow’s and just because dresses make them feel pretty.  All kids love shorts to play in and they help keep them cool in the hot, dry summers on the Rez.  Summer pajamas can be made or purchased but most of the kids sleep in their underwear or street clothes.  If you have any to send please ship to the shelter in Martin.

Garage sales will soon be starting and they’re a wonderful place to “shop”.  Don’t be shy about sharing with others the work you’re doing with SFK, we’ve had many of our members getting a better deal and/or offers of free items at the end of the sale, some of our members have even gotten donations from big box stores.  Please share pictures of your projects with us, we just love to ooh and aah!  We learn so much from each other’s projects and sometimes they’re just the inspiration we need to get our machines going.

Summer clothing for kids is needed at all of our assistance areas – the shelter and youth center in Martin, Marty Indian School, and the community of Wanblee, shipping addresses are here.  Please remember underwear must be new but other items can be gently used as long as they meet our guidelines.  Please let us know the quantity and sizes you’re sending so we can cover as many different ages as possible.

As always Thanks from Sew For Kids.








Kids’ Dreams For Their Communities

Each year our parent organization, Lakota Friends Circle, holds an essay contest for the students in the 5th grade class at Wolf Creek School in Pine Ridge.  This project helps kids improve their writing skills and gives them the opportunity to share their feelings, dreams and concerns about their lives and the community they live in.  We’re posting the essays as written without student’s names, grab a tissue before you begin.  Look beyond the grammar and misspellings as you’re reading and you’ll get a glimpse into the reality of a child’s life on the Rez.  These students are behind in reading and writing skills and teachers are trying their best to improve them, but a recent decision to remove all the books from the library and replace them with an IPad that must be used at school puts them further behind, in our opinion.  There are limited hours during the school day to practice reading and writing skills and without books to take home, students just aren’t improving like they should.


“What I Can Do For My Community” 

1st place

I want my community to let kids play outside without being told to go inside because there are people that will hurt them.  I also want my community to have less trash on the ground because the ground gets dirty and you can’t play there.  I wish my community had less deaths because when you lose someone you feel very sad.  In my community we need to not have drugs because they are bad for you.

2nd place

I want drugs to stop.  I want people to not drive drunk.  I want clean playgrounds.  I want a big pool in the community for kids to swim in.  I want good people in the world.  I want people to not fighting.  I want Horses and cars to ride in and out.  I wand jobs for people.  I want a playgrounds for babies and kids to play in.

3rd Place

For my Community I want to put an Basketball court, park, and I want to clean up our field behind our houses.  Then I want to put in a pool, Stores, and hotels.  We could have better houses the Maintenance Can fix our houses better in the winter they can fix our heaters because maybe some people don’t have good heaters and a good AC for the people that don’t have good AC’s and Heaters.  If I were president I would give money to people that are having a bad time if they hardly got good stuff and I would help them out And I would buy them new clothes, give them a better house.  But some people probably don’t have good stuff and they probably don’t have family to celebrate like holiday’s that is why you gotta be thankful for your family, food, clothes, a good house I’m very thankful for all the stuff I got and have a very good family and just a good family. and I want no more crime and no more drugs.

1st Runner up

I can do for my community when kids are bored they want things to do I want a clean park and a clean community and a no drug zone and more stores more things to do when you are bored and no trash on the sidewalk or on the street no drugs in the community and more school that teach about our way of life like wolf creek more schools like wolf creek more sports to play out side of school because kids like to do sports out of school and a gym where you can plat basketball for free and work out for free a track to run on those are the things I

2nd Runner up

I want a new park with no trash.  I want to help stop suicide.  I want drugs to be out of my town.  I want nice new clothes for everyone.  I want blankets and pillows for everyone too.  I want all the kids to have backpacks and school supplies.  I just want everyone to be happy in my town.  I don’t want no sad faces.  I also want everyone to have a nice home.

3rd Runner up

For my community I want the park to be more clean more school high school and buildings.  We are Lakota we need to teach our children learn Lakota stop drugs, stop suicide, no more kids running around pine ridge.  We need are store prices to go down we need more food for my community.  We need to take care of our children.  Feed the homeless give them warm and good houses.

4th Runner up

I want a safer place at east ridge because Everything goes on.  Like house’s explode and dogs people getting hit by cars and everything so yeah safer place we need to survive if we want to live and stop alcohol because it’s not fhun it’s scary because like what if one of them just runs you over am I right and stop drug because it’s horrible and a bunch of people to it so STOP ALL DRUG!!!  And make the world a better place and please dot do nothing wrong and make east ridge something better and be saft!!!

Thank you.

5th Runner up

I want for my community is I want for kids is a swimming pool and when kids get bored I want a park a big park for all kids and for grownup and good schools for adults and kids.  And no drugs and no fights and people be treated the way they want to be treated also no things that are bad for us.  And cats to be taken care of and dogs to be taken care of too.  And all animals to be taken to an animal shelter. and all schools and homes works to be a bully free zone.
Contest Entrants Essays

  • Want I want for are community I want no more crimes no more shooting I want people to clean up the parks I want no more people doing drugs we can clean up the schools.  I want people to stop stealing we can do great things for are community if we all work together.


  •  (1)  I want to change people drinking and driving one time when i was walking to my friends house then this car came then this guy said get off the road you idoits then he drove off.

          (2) And i want to stop bulling bulling just make people do the   same thing over and over and over again that’s why it needs to stop.

          (3) and i want to stop clowns from breking into peoples homes stealing.

         (4) and i want to stop people from doing drugs that stuff is going to kill you.


  • What I will do for my community.  I’d liked to see less trash around my community and want to see more job openings.  I want to see less trash around my community because I would like play outside and not have trash laying around. I want to see more job openings because there is not a lot of jobs in my community for people who try to make money. 


  • I would like to see more jobs so people will support themselves .I would like to have a clean and safe community. We could play at the park skate and ride our bikes . I don’t like people to drugs. They do bad things when there on drugs . I will protect my community to keep it liveable.


  • What do you want to do for your Community?  I want to a park when I’m bored.  I want a basketball Court when my brothers come over & my sisters.  I want a skate board ally for when my friends come over.  I want a water park because so when it’s a hot hot day like in the summer.  I want a art place so like all the kids that like to draw, color and art things.  I want the community to always stay clean.


  • I what the town clean. I what people stop doing drugs it bad for you. I what better roads. I what dogs change up. I what people be nice to others. I what more stores. I what the world to be nice to others that how god made us to be nice to others. I what more house for others.



  • I want the drugs to stop and the bad stuff and I want to have a nice park and I want the fighting to stop and I want my community to be clean and a nice community I want the bad people to stop being bad and doing drugs I want that to stop it’s bad and it can kill people and I want my community to be a nice place and a good place to live and I want to have clean parks. I want it to be a good place to live.



  • What do you want to do for your community? I want a park when I’m bored.  I want a basketball court when my friends come over. I want a trampoline to jump on. I want a gymnastics gymnasium when I want to do gymnastics. I want my own store to run. I want a horse to ride on. I want drugs to STOP. I want suicide to STOP



  • For my community I want I clean and make life’s better by making people stop doing drugs and alcohol so they can have better life’s with them and their family and plant new tree’s and make the environment better and stop people from littering every were becouse that hurt’s the environment and make my community better and stop people from killing them self and help them and help family’s.



  • What I can do for my community. I want to make drugs stop and I want family’s to be safe. I want elderly’s safe and I want people to be safe for are community and I want people to not drive drunk and I want the gasstashon to be free would if someone has a appointment and they a sick so that is why I want stuff to be ok.



  • What I will do for my Community is pick up trash and make a park and make a good Community for people and for kids and make drugs stop and make more jods for people.


These essays are from a particular group of students from one school on the Rez, but if you were to ask the same question in other parts of Pine Ridge, or other reservations for that matter, those kids would probably have similar feelings and dreams for their communities.  Sew For Kids likes to support youth programs and schools by helping with clothing, school supplies and other things kids need.  Help us help them by donating material goods to any of  our programs  at the addresses listed here , or give a monetary donation to Lakota Friends Circle.  With many of us coming together we can make a difference.

As always thanks from Sew For Kids.




Happy News For Wanblee

The following excerpt is taken from our November 2016 blog:

“Jerome recently traveled to Rapid City where he was a guest speaker at a conference meeting of the group Rocky Mountain Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (RMASFAA) who each year chooses a charity to support.  This year’s recipient was none other than Sew For Kids!  After speaking Jerome was presented with a check for $650, school supplies and some clothing which included new winter coats. We’re so honored to have been chosen and will use the gift to help the children of Pine Ridge. Lakota Friends Circle, our umbrella organization, will be handling the funds and since hunger is such a huge issue we’ve decided to purchase a freezer for the new community building.   Having a freezer allows the center to become a local food bank and receive food deliveries directly from the Rapid City food bank.  Instead of handing out all the food as soon as it arrives, as they currently do, the freezer allows them the luxury of keeping perishable food until it’s really needed.  Currently the High Horses drive to Rapid City for pick up, make the trip back to Wanblee (200+ miles round trip), sort, box and deliver the food to recipients, all in the same day!  We still need to find funds to purchase a refrigerator but that is a project for another day. Again a BIG THANKS to RMASFAA for their generous donation!”

Now for an exciting update to this post.  Jerome and Theresa have been checking used appliance stores looking for a freezer to purchase with the funds we received from this generous organization.  Well not only did they find a freezer, but once the store owner found out they were going to use it in a community center and they also needed a refrigerator, he made them an unbelievable deal on the appliances pictured below.  They now have an upright freezer, chest freezer and refrigerator purchased for $685 which is only $35 more than the initial award of $650!


IMG_1657 (1) (1).JPG






IMG_20170220_131911728_HDR (1).jpg

These appliances are already being used, Jerome recently made the 200 mile round trip to Running Strong in Manderson to pick up food boxes and was able to store them in the freezer/fridge for families who either couldn’t pick their food up the same day or for those  needing home delivery.  The new freezers and refrigerator will now give volunteers two days to deliver the 85 elder food boxes that come down from the food bank in Rapid City instead of rushing around to finish the same day.  When shopping for community parties Jerome and Theresa can head to Sam’s in Rapid City earlier in the week instead of the day before the party as they now have a place to store the food until needed.

So thank you again Rocky Mountain Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (RMASFAA) for the wonderful donation that will help this community feed their people.  With the new food storage capabilities, they can now save back some of the food received from the food bank that isn’t immediately needed to give out when those desperate calls come in from people looking for food to feed their children.  Most people on the Rez are always a little hungry and with the possibility of the new administration making cuts to the food stamp and school feeding programs, two programs they depend on to prevent malnutrition, they’re bound to be receiving a lot more calls for food.

The Wanblee community and Sew For Kids are both so grateful for your kindness!









Ways to Help Marty Indian School

Marty Indian School is our newest assistance area and began at the start of the 2016 school year after elementary principal, Gina Curran, contacted us for help, more about the school here.   A few of our members have recently visited the school and noted that while the school has many wonderful programs and teachers, the building and grounds are in need of repairs and updates.

SFK member, Penny Nickols, noted on her visit to the school last fall that the playground could really use an update.  The playground currently serves 95 children.


16864843_1725859650761272_1595002304738550686_n (1).jpg


Penny recently found a sweepstakes with a grand prize of a $30,000 healthy playground makeover that we can all enter to help them win. There’s an initial sign up page to complete where you’ll enter Marty, SD 57361 in the appropriate boxes after which two choices appear, click on “Marty Indian School”, fill in your information below and you’ll be registered.  Return to the page every day and vote until March 24, 2017, the more entries the more chances to win.  This is something we can all do, costs nothing and gives these deserving kids a chance to win a much needed playground.  Please post the information on your website, tell friends and family and help us get the word out.  Thank you!

Other ways we can help the school is by saving box tops from specially marked packages   these items earns points which can be redeemed for various school needs.  Please help by collecting the box tops and including them with your next shipment to the school.

If anyone has a Smartphone and wants to join us on Shoparoo, sign up yourself or use this code  (GLUD2158) and it’ll get the school some extra points and money for program needs. Here’s where to get the app….   Copy  your receipts within 2 weeks of shopping and  send to  Shoparoo for Marty Indian  Elementary school. You can choose a grade to help. Money comes in at the end of the school year. 

And finally the last way to help is by sending supplies to the school for the Feather Store .  They can always use toiletries, shoes, clothing, socks and underwear and the kids have absolutely loved the new pillows and colorful hand sewn pillowcases we’ve sent.  Toys, books, and school supplies are also needed.  Read the blog at the link above to read more about this wonderful program.  Please send your donations for the school here.

Thanks so much for your continuing generous support of Marty Elementary School!!








Marty School, Wanblee and Martin News

 Marty Indian School – Students enjoyed their two week Christmas break and are back in class hitting the books.  They were especially thrilled with all the wonderful gifts from their room parents and several parents received thank you letters and hand made cards from their classes.  Students are certainly sleeping a lot warmer now thanks to the blankets and pillows they received for Christmas.  The kids are eagerly awaiting Valentine’s Day next Tuesday when they will have a class party and exchange valentines.  Room parents are sending snacks and activities for them to enjoy at the party.  A special thanks to Donna Snider for sending enough valentines for the entire elementary school!  You can read more about elementary school activities in their newsletter here.

Elementary Principal, Gina Curran, was asked what was needed for the Feather Store and the first thing she said was “pillows and pillowcases, the kids love them”!   They continue to be one of the most popular things we make and wherever they’re sent we always get requests for more.  Other needs are toiletries, feminine hygiene items such as maxi pads for the older girls, food items that can be sent home in backpacks, pencils, erasers, colored pencils, backpacks and pencil cases.   If you would rather make a monetary donation for any of these items Paulita, Feather Store Manager, has offered to go shopping and purchase any of these items locally using the school car.  Donations can be sent via PayPal to Lakota Friends Circle  or send a check by mail to Marty Indian School  c/o Gina Curran .  They will both send you a charitable donation form.  Please let them know how you want the money used. Another urgent need is shoes in youth sizes 1, 2, and 3 for both genders.  At the end of the school year the shoe company, Tom’s, gives a new pair of shoes to each student which sees them through the summer, but there are several students in need of shoes now.  If you can help with shoes or any of their needs ,it would be greatly appreciated.

In addition to managing the Feather Store, Paulita is also an artisan in traditional Native American crafts such as beading and quill work.  She has offered to teach these skills to the older elementary students if she can get help with supplies.  She would need items such as beads (size 11), beading thread (size D)  and beading needles (size 11 sharps) that can be found online at   Also needed is deer leather either German tanned or brain tanned, this leather is the easiest to bead.  An online source for this leather can be found at   It’s important to teach the younger generations the traditional arts and crafts of their culture so please help if you can.  Paulita also hopes to teach quilting skills in the future.

Here is a note from Gina re the project.“I talked to Paulita and she stated that one hide would be enough for all of the children. She would like to teach the children to make medicine pouches and tobacco/cedar pouches. Any size 11 seed/Czechoslovakian cut beads will work… they need to be made with a good tanned leather hide or the children will not be able to get their needles through the leather without breaking their needles. The children will make them to wear or to share with their families. Thank you!   Gina”

  The school no longer needs library books for the library as they are being supplied by a reading organization in Rapid City. Students meet with special reading teachers to improve their skills and advance to the next higher reading level once they read and comprehend their current book.  Students are looking forward to Read Across America next month when each student will get a copy of a Dr. Seuss book. Teachers make it fun for the kids by decorating their classrooms, having plenty of activities to do and of course reading books. Children’s books can still be sent to the school to help build individual class libraries or for kids to take and build a home library.

The school is still accepting aluminum pull tabs from soda cans and also Box Tops for Education labels from participating products.   Each of these items is worth 10 cents so if we all join together, it could mean a sizeable donation for the school.  When sending a box to the school just include whatever tops or tabs you have saved in an envelope or baggie.

Wanblee – The High Horse’s are still sending out thank you notes, they received so many wonderful gifts for the party it’s taken a lot longer than usual to get them finished.  Jerome and Theresa have  been on the road giving speeches to organizations in hopes of getting donations they need to finish the community building.  They were recently in Chicago receiving an honorary membership in the University Key Society at the University of Illinois-Chicago.  They will be returning to that city soon for a couple of speaking engagements.  Work on the community center has pretty much stalled due to the cold and snowy weather.

Jerome and the Woodchucks have been out cutting and delivering wood to families in need.  Most homes also have propane but they try to conserve as much as possible so gas is available to run other appliances.  This year’s LIHEAP program only provided funding to help about half of all households on the Rez and they won’t be receiving that help until the latter part of the heating season.  Thankfully warm blankets, coats, hats and mittens have been have been sent to Wanblee thanks to the generosity of SFK, the Ravelry group “For The Children of Pine Ridge”, Halfknits, Pine Ridge Elders and Families Working Together.  Hearts of the Sacred Spirit has been helping get propane to the homes that need assistance as funds become available.  Winter on the Rez has been tough this year and it doesn’t seem to be coming to an end any time soon.

The chainsaws were in desperate need of new chains and bars with an estimated cost of $240 and once again Darlene Dean and her generous family stepped forward to help Jerome and the Woodchucks tune up their saws so they could continue cutting wood and keep families warm.  The Dean family not only helps maintain the chainsaws but assists with so many other needs in the Wanblee community.  Thank you Darlene and family!  Jerome and his crew cut wood all year long so the saws hardly ever take a break and do need require a lot of maintenance.  We’re hoping some members of our group will help the Dean Family keep those saws running by making a small donation to Lakota Friends Circle.  Thank you!

We recently received a note from Jerome saying, “We have two new woodchucks, need insulated bibs or coveralls size XXL & XXXL, work boots or insulated boots size men’s 12-W, & 13-W.   Thanks if you can help, Jerome”.  These men volunteer their time cutting and delivering wood and are out in all kinds of horrible weather.  A couple of SFK members have already helped; Sue Van Skiver sent a lot of warm insulated underwear and Elaine Evans recently spoke to the manager of her local Tractor Supply (TSC) store and found he was willing to donate a pair of 3XL insulated bibs.  Thank you Sue and Elaine!  We’re hoping to get some boots for the men through Soles 4 Souls.  If anyone has any warm outerwear in larger sizes or boots in good used condition they would be greatly appreciated, the mailing address is here.       .

Members of SFK and Ravelry group “For The Children of Pine Ridge” recently helped a homeless mother with 7 children by providing shoes, clothing, coats, blankets, toiletries and many other needed items.  Fortunately by the time our donations started arriving a home was found for the family and Jerome delivered all the gifts we sent shortly after they moved in.  We didn’t send anything for the mother as she didn’t give her size when Jerome made the list which isn’t unusual, most mothers are concerned with their children’s needs and are just thankful to get something for them.  We’re hoping to get a size for her in the near future and look forward to helping her too.  Thanks to everyone that helped this family, you were all so generous!  Jerome has learned of another mother with 8 children who really needs our help, we’ll post more details when we get them.  SFK  loves to help families that have been identified by our area contacts as really in need and struggling.  These families are at risk and with all of us joining together we can help make their lives a little easier and maybe relieve some of the stresses they have to face every day.

We don’t have a date for the Easter party yet but Jerome has asked for 100 pillows and pillow cases, the kids just love them!  Most of the pillow cases have already been made and many pillows already delivered, we’ll have an exact count soon.  We have the BEST volunteers!!  Other needs are baskets, plastic eggs for the egg hunt, candy, and stuffed animals.  Donations to purchase food, (hot dogs, chips, fruit, water) can be made to Lakota Friends Circle here.  Thank you for helping make the Easter party special for the kids!

Martin – Recent requests for the shelter are warm pants such as sweats, fleece, etc., socks, shoes and underwear for women and children.  Some of our group has been busy sewing underwear, you can see some of their beautiful work in the pictures below.  Other needs are towels, sheets, blankets, plastic dishes, utensils, plastic cups, etc. for clients leaving the shelter and moving to a new apartment or home.  They’ve recently received donations of towels, pillows and pillowcases, sheets, blankets and some household items.  Some of you have also sent pants, underwear, socks and shoes.  Deidra and Angela  sent cleaning supplies for the shelter and the youth center and Barb and Laurie sent baby formula.  Local hospitals no longer give out formula to new mothers because they want to encourage breastfeeding. Those that can’t breastfeed have to buy formula using food stamps or obtain it from the WIC program which doesn’t last the entire month.  Laurie A. from SFK and a Ravelry member have been sending diapers every month to the shelter which really helps women there and in the local community.  Some of our group are making cloth diapers and plastic pants so women have something to use when diapers, and the funds to buy them, runs out toward the end of the month.  Having resources available to help people when they come calling is such a blessing and a huge weight off Kimmie’s shoulders.  She said to thank everyone for their generosity and will get thank you notes off to you as soon as possible.

Kimmie has been very busy writing grants over the past 2 weeks so she can hire a director for the youth center and  some money to provide for transitional housing which is sorely needed for families leaving the shelter and for the homeless women who are occasionally housed at the shelter for their own safety.  Kimmie thinks she’ll receive the grant for a youth Director, the kids need supervision and direction to keep them on track with homework, computer skills, reading, etc. and with all her other duties she’s can’t be there all the time.  They do get volunteers to help out for a while but after a month or so they quit coming so a full time director is needed.  The center was recently closed for a few days  for a thorough cleaning and to update the propane tank.  Hours for the center are 4-10 p.m. weekdays and noon to 10 p.m. on weekends, kids are always there and for some it’s their home away from home.   SFK member, Laurie Allen, is a librarian and has been stashing away books and activities for the youth center and plans to personally deliver her goodies some time this summer.  Laurie helped set up a library at the Allen Youth Center as well.  Thank you Laurie!!

Finishing work on the two shelter rooms over the garage was delayed for a while due to the cold weather but they took advantage of a couple of mild days and got the flooring in and the new heating system set up.  Kimmie is still deciding how to set up the new rooms, most likely there will be 2 bunk bed sets in one room and a queen bed, crib and set of bunk beds in the other.  Once a final decision is made we may be asked to decorate at least one of the rooms.  Kimmie likes to make the shelter look and feel homey, not institutional like some of the ones she has visited.  She is concerned now with a new president in Washington they may lose funding as this administration doesn’t seem very welcoming or concerned about Native Americans.  If that should happen the shelter will have to close as the large grant she received for running the shelter came from the Federal government.  It is a frightening thought and Kimmie hopes it doesn’t come to pass as the shelter is so badly needed on the reservation.

Kimmie recently met with the Bright Start group to discuss needs for babies and mothers. Bright Start consists of 3 nurse midwives who make home visits to women across the Reservation starting in the sixth month of their pregnancy and concluding when their child reaches age 2.  During their visits they give well baby check ups, administer vaccinations, and identify any special needs babies early and get them extra care if needed.  These nurses are especially needed in the homes of young, first time mothers for support and education.    They can always use clothing, blankets, diaper bags/totes and anything else a baby needs and toddler clothing, toys, etc. to give to other siblings.  If you would like to donate baby or toddler items for Bright Start please send to Kimmie here. Since you’ve all been so generous to the shelter in the past, Kimmie has been able to share a lot of your donations with them.

We would like to extend a warm welcome to all the new members that have joined us in the past few weeks.  We’re so glad to have you, join in the lively conversations on our Sew For Kids Volunteers Facebook page or if you like something more subdued try our Yahoo group page.  Many thanks to those of you sending donations to the new fund we set up at Lakota Friends Circle.  For newbies or those that want a refresher about the fund please read this blog.  You can find our project list for the year here.  Find a project that interests you and/or matches your skill level, if the current project isn’t something you like, feel free to work ahead on something you do.  March is right around the corner and we’ll soon be working on clothing projects for the kids’ summer vacation.

Thanks as always from Sew For Kids.

Financial Report from Lakota Friends Circle for 2016

As you might recall, Sew for Kids decided this past Fall to be under the umbrella of Lakota Friends Circle so that we could offer you a charitable donation. We as an organization felt that the $3000 spent to form a 501 c(3) when we had one willing to host us under their umbrella, was better spent on helping the people on the Reservation. And because we were already doing similar projects and were helping many of the same people, we decided to join forces . Sew For Kids is still their own organization . We like to craft items we make for the reservation kids, although there are certainly needs that we can not craft. Other folks join us as they want to help with those other needs.

Anne Fields, President of Lakota Friends Circle, sent me this report and am sharing it with you. Take a look to see what was accomplished this past year. The Sew For Kids team thanks all of you as well for your contributions to the kids who benefited from your generosity and skills.  Next week  Janet and I will be putting up a new blog. I do charity projects in my own community and needed to help with some fundraising projects here in January .

Anne Field’s note.

“Thanks to all friends of Lakota Friends Circle and Sew For Kids for a great 2016.  I’ve compiled the financial report and attached it so that you can all see how the cash donations were spent.  Even though we are still small I do think that we achieved a lot last year.

 In addition, thanks to the many people who sent in-kind donations to Jerome High Horse, The Sacred Shawl Society Shelter, The My Space Youth Center, the 5th grade class at Wolf Creek School, the Marty School, and several families and individuals with specific needs.  Sorry if I forgot anyone.
Thank you, thank you, and here’s to a truly productive 2017!

Lakota Friends Circle Financial Report for 2016

Lakota Friends Circle Expenditures for 2016


Program Expenses

Administrative Expenses

Total Expenses

Gas for food, wood, supplies pick-up/distribution


Food/supplies for Wanblee community events


Crock pots and roasters for Wanblee community


Gas for families


Food for families


Utilities for families






Funeral assistance




Stove for My Space Youth Center


Car repairs


Wolf Creek 5th grade field trip


Wolf Creek 5th grade supplies


Project Manager’s cell phone – monthly charges


Shipping – Women’s Shelter, Wolf Creek School




Printer ink




Fees and SD license


Fundraising book






Lakota Friends Circle Assets 2016





Total Assets











Lakota Friends Circle Income, Expenditures, and Assets 2016




2015 Assets

Balance + 2015 Assets

2016 Assets







Income: More than $7,800 was donated to Lakota Friends Circle by 35 individuals/families and by the Wal-Mart Foundation which contributed $1,500 towards community food programs. A generous donation of $645 was made by members of the Rocky Mountain Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ Philanthropic Committee towards the planned purchase of a freezer for a food bank to be located in the upcoming Community Center in Wanblee.


Gas: Nine trips for woodcutting and delivery; 14 gas purchases for Running Strong pick-up and delivery of food, clothing, and school supplies; 13 purchases for other food pick-up and delivery; a trip to Omaha, NE to pick-up a donated trailer; two families’ medical appointments; two families’ food pick-up trips; one fill-up for the Rescue truck.

Food: Food was provided for Wanblee community events at Easter, July 4th, Halloween, and Christmas, and for an elders’ breakfast and a fire department meeting. Food was also purchased for two homeless families and for a mother with eight children.

Crock Pots: Two crock pots, two large roasters, and two surge protectors were bought for the Wanblee Community

Utilities: one electric bill and one phone bill were paid.

Clothing: warm clothing, shoes, socks, and underwear were purchased on clearance for the Sacred Shawl Society shelter and for distribution in Wanblee.

Diapers: 250 diapers were purchased for distribution in Wanblee using a special program.

Funerals: $50 was donated to each of two families for help with funeral expenses.

Tools: A four-piece power tool kit was bought for Jerome High Horse and three power tools for a volunteer working on home renovations.

Stove: A new electric stove was purchased for the My Space Youth Center in Martin.

Car repairs: Three families were helped with car repairs.

Wolf Creek School: LFC sponsored a 5th grade class field trip to the Journey Museum in Rapid City. The students wrote essays about the trip.

LFC also sponsored a writing contest for the class on the topic “What I Can Do for My Community” and awarded cash prizes totaling $50 to four students.

A number of books were bought for the 5th grade class after the school library was closed.

Beading supplies were purchased for an after-school Lakota crafts class.

Through donations to Lakota Friends Circle we have been able to assist hundreds of Lakota people through both group projects and individual family needs. Many thanks to all who have contributed.

Anne Fields

President, Lakota Friends Circle

Anne in GA
President, Lakota Friends Circle”