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It's Christmas day. For those of you who are able to, look upon the faces of your loved ones. This holiday is about giving, sharing, and taking part with family & friends. There are many who are not able to celebrate, or where their idea of celebrating is to gather with friends & family for the warmth of companionship, in spite of lacking in physical warmth and not having enough to eat themselves, never mind sharing their bounty with others.

There are entire communities which are under-served and oft overlooked who could use some help. The Daily Kos community has demonstrated, time and again, its capacity to rise up to the challenge & help those in need. There are two examples of this - both of which still need your attention and assistance. Many of you have given already, and many more have helped spread the word. To the extent that you're able - particularly this day, and the few days remaining of December - I'm asking for little more help for these projects. Even just helping get the word out and casting a simple vote - daily - will do wonders. Jump the squiggle for more information on how you can help make a difference.

There are three projects I'm writing to ask you to help with: Okiciyap, Lifting the Digital Curtain and Propane Donation. All stand to make a difference in communities that are often under-served and over-looked.

  1. Okiciyap "We Help" - a food pantry on the Cheyenne River Reservation that needs help raising funds (although donations of food, clothing and other necessities are welcome). They stand at 30% of their goal for funding - enough to move a trailer that was donated to them, but not quite enough to get it fully set up. Here's the widget:

    Some of you may recall that recently a call went out to help Georgia Little Shield and her family so that they, too, could have a happy & festive Christmas. In case you're wondering how that turned out - and would like to see the joy that your help brought to others this holiday season - check out this diary by betson08: A Message from Georgia Little Shield: the Okiciyap Community Christmas Part. And thank you for helping to make the holidays so much brighter for the Little Shield family.

  2. Lifting the Digital Curtain - a project submitted to the Pepsi "Refresh Everything" grant program, it needs to get into the top 10 in order to receive the 50K of funding required to accomplish it's goal. This is an easy one, tho - you only need to sign up at the Pepsi Challenge site and then vote for the project daily until the Challenge ends. You can vote twice - the second way is to text in a vote to Pepsi by texting 110867 to 73774. After you sign up, all you need to do is vote every day until voting is over.

    Recently, in a diary about the project by JekylInHyde, an additional way to help you remember to cast  your vote was provided:

    "The key to winning the Pepsi Refresh grant is accumulating daily voters.  Netroots Nation has agreed to help us organize to win this grant.  Sign up at this link to receive an email once a day providing you links to vote.  Once the contest is over, win or lose, the email list will be deleted and your email won't be shared with anyone.  So please help us recruit all the daily voters you can, and we can do this."

    -- Raven Brooks, Executive Director, Netroots Nation

    Talk about some powerful support systems - this simple tool, offered by the folks at NN12, will help you help others help themselves. Neat, eh?
  3. Propane donation - if you've ever been really cold - chilled to the bone cold - you'll have had a glimpse of what life can be like trying to live through a seriously frigid winter with little chance of affording enough heat to get through it. I can't improve on the information that Navajo provided for the best ways to help with propane donation, so I'm just gonna cheat:
    We've set up relationships with the propane companies that service Rosebud and Pine Ridge reservations. The operators/owners know who needs help and can't get it from their tribal, state or federal government.

    Here is how you can help buy propane:

    The fastest way to help is to pick up the phone and call with your credit-card information. A family will get propane delivered either the same day or the next day.


        Sherry Cornelius of St. Francis Energy Co.
        at  6 0 5 - 7 4 7 - 2 5 4 2
        11 AM - 6 PM MST EVERY DAY

        Ask for Sherry or her mom Patsy. Normally a minimum order is $150, but they have an account to accumulate small donations until they get enough for an full delivery. Credit cards welcome, and they are the only Indian-owned fuel company on the Rosebud, which is next to Pine Ridge and in the same economically depressed condition.

        If you'd like to mail a check:

        [make it payable to: St. Francis Energy Co.]

        Attn: Sherry or Patsy

        St. Francis Energy Co. / Valandra's II
        P.O. Box 140
        St. Francis, South Dakota 57572

        NOT tax deductible

        You can order a heater  here  and have it shipped to:

        Sherry Cornelius
        St. Francis Energy Co.
        102 N Main Street
        SAINT FRANCIS, SD 57572

        Mr. Heater Big Buddy™ Indoor/Outdoor Propane Heater — 18,000 BTU, Model# MH18B

        You also need to include these accessories:

        Mr. Heater AC Power Adapter for Big Buddy Heaters — 6 Volt, Model# F276127
        Mr. Heater 12-Ft. Hose with Regulator for Item# 173635
        Mr. Heater Fuel Filter for Buddy™ Heaters, Model# F273699

        Order Total of $225.85 (includes shipping)


        The Lakota Plains Propane Company
        at  6 0 5 - 8 6 7 - 5 1 9 9

        Monday- Friday only 8-4:30pm MST

        Ask for Crystal to contribute to someone from Autumn's list. $120 minimum delivery. This company serves Pine Ridge Reservation.

        NOT tax deductible

The community here continues to help others, and each other. It is a great example of the power of community and the common bond of humanity that we each recognize within ourselves & others.

Even if you're financially tapped out and have nothing material you're able to offer (like me), you can still make a huge difference in support of these projects by raising your voice, casting your votes and encouraging others to share the news of these efforts with others.

Thank you, and Merry Christmas.


Originally posted to Native American Netroots on Sun Dec 25, 2011 at 06:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Progressive Hippie and Street Prophets .

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