In the midst of all the turmoil in the world right now, you may have forgotten that school is just around the corner. This is the third year that the Daily Kos community has been sending school supplies for kids served by the Okiciyap food pantry on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.
They have really, really counted on our donations to prepare the kids for back-to-school.
Okiciyap means "we help" in Lakota. The whole name of the organization is Okiciyap the Isabel Community, or OTIC.
If you've been shivering through this winter and crumbling under the weight of mounting heating bills, particularly propane, imagine how bad it is for the elders on the Indian reservations in the Dakotas, like Cheyenne River, Standing Rock or Pine Ridge, where the usually brutal winter has been even colder this year.
Imagine drafty, substandard housing in combination with these two things.....this means no heat for many people.
This winter has only just begun, and already there have been two major blizzards, the latest of which was only this past Sunday. So here we go again
Residents of North Dakota and South Dakota dealt with dangerous cold, high winds and blowing snow on Sunday that caused whiteout conditions and treacherous travel throughout much of the two states.
The storm, the most recent in a wave of heavy storms to hammer the Dakotas, packed powerful wind gusts that reached up to 60 mph over much of North Dakota and the northern portion of South Dakota on Sunday...snip...the wind chill was expected to plunge as low as 60 degrees below zero Sunday night over parts of the Dakotas, creating life-threatening conditions.
A series of Alberta clippers have swept down from Canada into the Northern Plains in the past couple of weeks, bringing light snow, strong winds and cold temperatures.
"This is definitely the most widespread event we've had this year," Jones said.
Yes, it's only January. And now to add injury to insult, the propane shortage has doubled prices in the Dakotas and elsewhere.
For the elders on the reservations, this winter has been dangerously cold, as some have run out of both propane and money. With cuts in LIHEAP the tribes themselves have had trouble assisting them. This is where Okiciyap (we help) comes in....
FYI - our new donations site is called YouCaring. You can go directly to that site here.
With this community's help, Okiciyap had what the director, Emily Penick, told me was the best Christmas party yet! I wanted to share some photos of that party with you, and remind you that you still have a few hours to get a tax deduction for your donation this year.
THIS Saturday is the Okiciyap Christmas party, where they will be having food and distributing gifts to the children and elders.
Here's a message from Emily Penick Taylor, the new PAID pantry director:
"My elves are busily wrapping presents and getting things ready for our lil Christmas party this Saturday. We will be delivering gifts to the children & elderly. Saturday we will have soup & fry bread as well at treats for the kids and SANTA will be here! Not sure what time we will start but it will be after noon because we will have Food Pantry distribution until Noon then as well as Friday from 1 to 7pm and Saturday from 9am to noon... we will deliver SOME of the presents but not all...would like everyone that lives in town to come have some soup n frybread! and bring the kids to have some munchies."
Want to contribute something? Join me below to see what the pantry has been up to this year, and what it needs in terms of donations. There's something for all budgets.
meagert has offered to send one of her bridle leather belts to the next people who donate $100 or more (photo below). He had three of them, and two are still available as far as I know.
As you probably know if you clicked on this diary, the Daily Kos community supports a food pantry on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota called Okiciyap ("we help" in Lakota) the Isabel Community. Join me below to see what the pantry has been up to this year, and what it needs in terms of donations. There's something for all budgets.
UPDATE: meagert has offered to send one of her bridle leather belts to the next three people who donate $100 or more (photo below).
As you may know, Okiciyap is a food pantry on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation supported by this community. This year we are continuing with a school supplies drive for 50 middle and high school students and 90 K-6 students in Isabel and the surrounding communities.
Kossacks have already sent Okiciyap a lot of supplies, but we still need more, particularly 3 and 5 subject notebooks, scissors, pens and pencils, and crayons (see the list below).
The pantry is a success! It receives regular shipments of food from Feeding South Dakota, and some food but mostly items such as shampoo, soap, and toothpaste from National Relief Charities. On the third Friday and Saturday of each month they have "pantry day," when they open up for people to pick up the food they need. Those in need of emergency food supplies can also call the pantry and the volunteers will open it for them.
This all got started because of Georgia Little Shield's determination and this community's generosity. In case you're not familiar with the project, Georgia died suddenly last year, but her family has taken up her cause and helped the pantry project to flourish.
Below is a list of supplies needed and an update on what has been pledged. In addition to supplies, this community has already donated $250 to help them fill in any donations gaps. You can add to this total here: Donate
Can you believe it's already August?! That means school is right around the corner....and once again the Okicyap food pantry is going to be distributing school supplies to the kids in Isabel, SD, on the Cheyenne River Reservation. Last fall, the drive was so successful that Okiciyap was able to provide all of the children in Isabel with supplies, as well as some from neighboring communities. Their parents could never have done this. We'd like to be able to let them do it again this year.
UPDATE: In addition to the material donations you'll see below, these diaries have netted $217 in donations. Thank you so much everyone. This way if we come up short on anything, they can just go out and buy it.
I can't believe it's already August. That means school is right around the corner....and once again the Okicyap food pantry is going to be distributing school supplies to the kids in Isabel, SD, on the Cheyenne River Reservation. Last fall, the drive was so successful that Okiciyap was able to provide all of the children with supplies, which their parents could never have done. We'd like to be able to let them do it again this year.
If you're reading this diary today, the last day of the quilt auction, you're probably aware of the Okiciyap (we help) the Isabel Community food pantry on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, which began last week.
So before I get to the meat of the auction diary, I want to cut to the chase:
Thanks to this fantastic community, we have raised over $6360 for Okiciyap . (it seems like the WePal total jumps every 5 minutes)
If we can raise about another $2640 today, an anonymous donor will give $1000, for a grand total of $10,000. If you can help, even with $5, please do. It is all significant, believe me.
UPDATE 1: I just received this video thank you from Emily, who is in NM coordinating activities remotely: This was a cell phone video so it's a little low in volume, but I hope you can hear her.
UPDATE 2 I just received these photos from the kids
Thanks to you, the pantry is not only up and running, but attracting in-kind donations from near and far, which you can read about below the fold.
In fact, between the fundraiser and a few developments this weekend, the pantry is now stable enough for the group to start to put together what I'd call Stage II of Georgia's dream: an after school program for Isabel's youth that provides them with a safe, health environment.
Georgia wanted to make sure that Isabel's youth can avoid or heal from some of the horrendous abuse she suffered as a child, and that nobody ever has to go hungry. How is this too much to ask in the 21st Century?
Before continuing, I wanted to add a video from a Frontline special called, A Kind-Hearted Woman. Cindy told me that it was a lot like Georgia's story, so if you really want to see and feel on a gut level the kinds of things people are overcoming on reservations, you can watch a few minutes of this.
The first line the woman profiled in the movie says is "I was torn to pieces by people I called "dad," "uncles".
Georgia suffered horrendous physical and verbal abuse by her father, which led to a host of other problems, including suicidal ideation an alcoholism. She was determined to help others avoid this fate, and overcame the alcoholism and suicidal thoughts, but her body just could not heal enough from its other ailments for her to see all of this come to fruition.
So, in he honor, we do this: okiciyap. How could we not?
The Quilters Guild auction was a brilliant idea and will be the large chunk of money they have needed to be be on a firm footing for the summer, when school is out.
Just a short note to let you know that 50 Thanksgiving dinners got packed up and distributed - the first 35 were distributed in 2 hours on Monday, and the rest were given out the next day.
The volunteers experienced a very happy type of exhaustion: they were able to provide 50 families with Thanksgiving dinners. This was something that Georgia Little Shield had wanted to do so badly last year but just couldn't. All of thanks to YOU the Daily Kos community.
I have some pictures below. However, you'll see that there are only two of them. Why? Their photographer in chief, Emily, was out of town at her in-laws'. But mostly, at the same time they were doing this they got a ginormous delivery of donations from an organization that works by having groups sign up for a truckload of stuff. When the truck is full, it delivers the goods. .
So, everyone was falling over because they were packing up turkey dinners at the same time an overwhelming amount of other stuff was arriving.
Well, we've come to the end of a great week for giving 50 poor families on the Cheyenne River Reservation a full Thanksgiving Dinner. That was the goal of the women who run Okiciyap (we help)and we have almost realized their goal. They estimate that each family will feed 10 people on Thanksgiving Day, so that's 500 people with a nice, fresh, hot meal that day. With an unemployment rate of 80% in the winter, that's nothing to sneeze at folks.
If you haven't donated yet, Thanksgiving dinner costs just under $5 per person this year nationwide. So we are basically missing dinner for 50 more people.
So if 50 people each buy 1 person Thanksgiving dinner, we're there!
On Sunday, the New England Kossacks started us off by collecting $100. Thanks everyone! It was great to meet all of you.
Besides being a reality-based, data-driven community, the Daily Kos community is also characterized by compassion in action, which this project so aptly illustrates. I really appreciate that about you all, and I'm always grateful to be part of this community.
NMRed has offered to donate $1 for every Tip and Rec you give the diary. So if you're tapped out, you can donate that way!
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