There are so many important drives going on right now for our friends out on the Pine Ridge Reservation that I can’t decide where to spend my extra “stash” money that I set aside for these projects. If any of them strike you, you can go the the Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation link and read about them in more detail. Check both the current drives and the organization pages to get a complete picture of each groups needs and functions.
The most recent addition is for painting equipment for the nearly 1000 volunteers who arrive on the rez each summer to work with Re-Member. Re-Member is a group that does 2 things: they build bunk beds for kids who have no beds (yes, I personally know families who sleep on mattresses on the floor); they also try to help elders and those who are disabled with home repairs and maintenance. That way, there are fewer homes with drafts to let in the cold winds in winter.
The other drive that caught my eye was a drive for camping equipment for the dozen children that are in Emergency Youth Servicescustody, due to situations in their families. Camping would be fun for them and a good way to impart more of their Lakota heritage to them. I know my Avon lady would give me a deal on the bug repellent/sun screen combo if I asked.
The Oglala Lakota College Libraryhas two different programs going on with which they need help. As you may know, good reference books can be expensive. Right now, the college has the only public library on the 2 million acre reservation. They are beginning to build satellite libraries in the dozen or so small communities scattered around the rez. This drive is for Dictionaries and Thesauruses (or is that Thesauri – I wish I had a dictionary handy to check) so that all of the satellite libraries can be equipped with reference books. The second, which I love, is called Build Your Own Library. While primarily for children, the idea is to collect books that can be given away rather that kept in the library. Can you imagine that there are little children out there who don’t have a book of their own?
Finally, there is a drive on for children’s clothing and footwear for the spring and summer. The clothing will be distributed by Cangleska, Inc, the shelter for victims of domestic abuse. Most of the time, when women take their children and leave and abusive situation, they do not arrive at the shelter with more than the clothes on their backs.
You can see what a difficult decision it is for me. But when I make my decision, I’ll post my contribution on the Friends of Pine Ridge group on Yahoo, so the moderator can keep track of what has been sent.
I hope you will consider what you could do to help ease one of these needs. The basic idea of this group is that none of us can afford to meet all the needs individually. But the group of us across this nation and abroad, by sending an item or 2 that we can afford, will do a great work and supply the need. Teamwork. It really works!!
Check the links – your first visit will probably not be your last.