A young mother on Pine Ridge Reservation sent us a desperate appeal last week for the 7 children who share the 3 bedroom house where she lives.
"I am hoping to brighten a few children's lives this year end. Poverty is most apparent here. We live in an overcrowded home with 4 other families.
My brother and I work at minimum wage jobs and support 15 people. With 90% of the people on the reservation unemployed, it is almost impossible to find work."
"It is so hard to see (the children) go to bed hungry and go to school without socks, gloves, or a coat."
These are good kids, they stay away from drugs and often come to me and my husband to get away from their drunk families. We try to give them encouragement, hope, a good role model that they can look up to. Each night we find activities to do with them whether it is playing hide and seek or telling ghost stories but its heartbreaking to know that the cycle of poverty is still there. "Christmas is a sad time for them because it reminds them of the parents and family members they lost to alcoholism. One of the children here is my 13 year old niece. My sister, her mother, died in a car accident in September. If there is anything you can help with, presents, a letter, card, I know it would brighten their day to know that someone out there cares for them.
If there is anyway you and your organization can help, I know the children would be very appreciative. They are in dire need of clothes, food, school supplies, literally everything a child needs that others take for granted.
Being without for so long in their little lives, they don't take anything for granted."
This is a typical story of families on Pine Ridge and Crow Creek reservations. ONE Spirit is reaching out to assist this family and dozens like them every week. Our programs provide ways for the Lakota people to help themselves. With the support we are able to provide they:
- Deliver fresh meat, fruits and vegetables to homes across the reservation, and get paid for their work, allowing them to maintain theirdignity while they help their people.
- Gather, split and deliver wood to families and elders to heat their homes and fuel their cooking stoves.
- Mentor their young folks and plan activities that both teach their culture and give the young folks a chance to develop their talents.
Your donation to ONE Spirit supports these programs. We need to meet our goal of $50,000 in order to keep families warm and fed through the harsh South Dakota winter.
It is already below freezing at night on the reservation. We are asking for your help now so that we can make plans for the winter. Your tax-free donation will provide food and heat for Lakota families.
Please donate now http://nativeprogress.org to help us meet our $50,000 goal.
You may also help by providing toys for children, warm clothes, and
other necessities by getting directly involved in our programs.
- Sponsor a child or elder http://nativeprogress.org/content/view/26/45/
- Brighten the holidays for a child http://nativeprogress.org/content/view/30/49/ <http://nativeprogress.org/content/view/43/54/
-Send needed item sdirectly to a family
Perhaps the most important way you can help is to forward this email to your friends and tell them how important it is that the Lakota receive their help. ONE Spirit exists because of the generosity of people like you.
If you receive this email from a friend, you can subscribe to our newsletter and alerts online.
ONE Spirit and the Lakota people are grateful for your friendship and your support. Together during this holiday time, we can make a mother's dream a reality and let the children know that indeed there is "someone out here who cares."
Love and Peace,
The ONE Spirit Staff