I just love trying to come up with titles for these posts that will catch your attention and interest. I really do try to appeal to the secret love of raunch or kinkiness that so many people would never admit to.
So what does this title have to do with one of my favorite topics – the needs of people on the Pine Ridge Reservation? I’ll break it down for you.
What is a “sugar daddy”? According to Wikipedia, Sugar daddy is a slang term for a rich man who offers money or gifts to a less rich younger person, usually female, in return for companionship or sexual favors.
Since I am not looking for ANYONE to offer my friends sexual favors, how could I possibly use this term? See that? You completely overlooked the much longer word “companionship” to skip to the shorter word “sexual” – so my assumption about many are vindicated, eh?
However, to get serious, I would like to find a wealthy (or well-to-do) person (hence the addition of Mama in the title) to take on a couple of families on the Pine Ridge Reservation who have needs that will never be met by a single sponsor otherwise. I have sponsored for 5 years and I am far from wealthy. I know what the needs are out there. I want very much to help these folks. I know a “Sugar Daddy or Mama” who would like the companionship of the family in return for giving them gifts (the things they desperately need) is probably the only way this will work.
The first family I want to help is a 39 year old single mother with 8 children. 4 of the children are her own, 4 of the children are nieces and nephews. This mom told me that at one time she was going back to school at a vocational school so she might be able to get a job. But she had to abandon that dream to do what was right in her eyes. She is sober but not all of her siblings are. She had nieces and nephews who needed someone to take care of them and she her heart would not let them go into the foster care system. So she quit school to care for 8 children. Of course, she has no job and only gets the government support for the children and food stamps. It is never enough to feed 9 people.
In addition to inadequate food, the children have some significant health issues. Only 2 of the children did not have health issues that she told me about. The oldest girl, her 13 years old niece, and her 11 year old niece are healthy. The oldest boy, her 13 year old nephew, likes to run but has asthma. Her daughters, aged 12 and 10, are both overweight (due to the consumption of less expensive junk food) yet both have recently also been diagnosed as hypoglycemic. So they have to take extra snacks to school – a cost for extra food. Her 8 year old nephew’s mother abused prescription medication while pregnant and the boy has severe ADHD as well as asthma.
The most serious issues are with her 3 year old daughter and 11 year old son. The little girl weighs about 100 lbs, probably due to the fact that she does not speak and gets fed whenever she looks for attention. She has been diagnosed with selective mutism and receives speech therapy for it. [As an aside, I wonder if the child doesn’t have some form of autism, since my own son who has Asperger’s syndrome, went through a period of selective mutism.] Mom has begun to take the child for walks to get more exercise and try to do something about the weight issue.
The 11 year old son has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. He is depressed because he cannot participate in any physical activity. He loved sports as a younger child. But he has also recently been diagnosed with lupus. He has been referred to a specialist – in Rapid City, over an hour away. They don’t have a car, so Mom must find a ride from a relative for any appointments the children have.
They do have a 5 bedroom house. However, heating it properly with propane is far too costly. They also have electric space heaters in all the rooms to stay adequately warm. However, the electric bill when I spoke with her was $581 and there was no money to pay it. She managed to find $300 from tribal assistance, but still has to find $281 for the current bill – and winter is just beginning. If it is shut off, there is a $225 reconnection fee in addition to whatever was owed on the account.
So what did she ask for when I asked if there were any urgent needs? Winter jackets and boots for the kids. Food if we had any. Nothing for herself.
The second family I think of when I look for a “Sugar Daddy or Mama” is an 81 year old woman and her 48 year old son. Both are diabetic. The son lost the vision in one eye at the age of 3 – he is legally blind.
If those were the only issues, I would be able to use single sponsors. However, this pair is also raising 5 of the son’s nieces and nephews. The children range in age from one 6 year old to 4 teens aged 13 to 16. The only income is social security and food stamps.
The children need clothing and food is always an issue. But the biggest problem is the wood stove they use for heat. The stove has holes in it!! It is a safety risk as well as a poor heat source. They really need a new stove and wood to put into it. They also need beds and bedding. I suspect we may have some sleeping on the floor – not a pleasant thought in the South Dakota winter.
So if anyone who reads this knows of someone who could be a “Sugar Daddy or Mama” for these families, let me know. Bill Gates and Oprah are welcome to apply!