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Photos show Rosebud Reservation residents thanking Daily Kos donors for propane and heaters last winter.
If you're new to our Propane Project please read yesterday's diary by Meteor Blades which gives a summary of the history and need for our unique project. Aji has also written a piece with many more photos. If you want more detail, there are few links at the bottom of this diary to explain why we've put this project together.

Please share this diary with your family and friends.

This is a project to donate money directly to a propane company on one of the nine reservations in South Dakota. The company knows who is about to run out of fuel. Families receive full tanks the day you call or the next day. There is a constant need on the reservations, especially during the winter. This project is unique in that we are not going through a charity which delays the aid and has overhead. Your money helps someone in quick time.

Last winter when I posted all the individual photos that you see in my collages at the top and the bottom I could see in the recommends and comments in the diary that you all loved seeing the actual families you helped. It's nice to see the smiles and know you're making a very hard life easier.

Kossack cacamp aka Carter Camp left a comment in Meteor Blades's and  Greg Dworkin's diaries on this subject. Carter lived on Rosebud and his son's live on Pine Ridge. (Carter led the Wounded Knee Take Over in 1973.)

In his comment, Carter underlined the importance of this effort:

Carter Camp being interviewed
for the 2009 PBS special,
 "We Shall Remain."
This summer I picked up two heaters for my kids on Pine Ridge from Sherry. We talked a bit about this direct way of helping our people and how much better it is for us. That's true mainly because Sherry is a part of the community and can concentrate on those families who slip through the cracks and can't get help from other sources.

Government programs necessarily make people meet certain criteria and place people on their lists accordingly. This is good and really the only way a big program can work but there are some families who just don't fit the criteria but are still in dire need. Sherry (and in past years myself but I've moved) knows these families and how dire their circumstances might be.

I know Sherry and her Mom and I can fully vouch for how hard she attempts to help the very neediest first. They live in the community they serve. These two women, mainly Sherry now that her Mom is getting older, are very hardworking small business people. South Dakota winters are brutal and handling propane is a cold job in any weather but I've seen Sherry out on the coldest nights wrestling those hoses and getting heat to families who would freeze otherwise or have to seek shelter elsewhere.

I'm writing this mainly to let all of you who donate know that by doing it this way instead of through the Tribe or a traditional charity you are giving directly to the very neediest of the needy. Nothing goes to overhead or administration. It all goes to delivering propane to the people. Sherry and her business make nothing extra even though she would deserve some for the extra work it puts on them, things like answering phones and keeping track of the money takes time and effort but they only charge us their regular rates. It's her way of taking care of her people and showing her love for her Lakota Nation.

So thanks you my friends of this community. Your generosity is amazing to me each year and every year I speak to those you have helped and all of them tell me things about how the assistance arrived at just the right time to save them in so many ways. There is no way for us to thank each of you personally and your names won't be inscribed on any walls. But please know it is appreciated by my people, by parents who were worried sick about how to keep their kids warm until they saw Sherry's propane truck pull up into their yards and their prayers were answered... by you.
In Lakota I say; Pilamaye-tonka. Mitakuye-Oyasin.. Thank you.. for all of my relations.

by cacamp on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:21:09 PM PST

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.

Details below the fold:


Sherry Cornelius on the job
Telephone St. Francis Energy Co. at:
11 AM-6 PM MST EVERY DAY (Except Thanksgiving and Christmas)
Ask for Sherry or her mom Patsy, but others can help you also. 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


Of course, all the propane in the world won't do you any good without a heater. Many families don't even have working heaters—or ones that work safely. Every year, there are house fires as a result of malfunctioning heaters that people can't afford to repair. So if you're flush or you have a few friends who can put your dollars together, a heater would be really welcome this Thanksgiving season.
You can order a heater and the necessary accessories from Northern Tool HERE and have it shipped to:
Propane Heater for Rosebud reservation

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

Here's what you'll be sending:
• 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 $235.85 (includes shipping)


If you live out of the country, please use our PayPal link at Native American Netroots. The donation button is in the middle right of the page. This process takes about two weeks for the funds to hit the reservations, so telephoning the propane companies directly is definitely the fastest way to help.

For more information and background please read the following diaries:

Here we go again: Blizzard hits Dakotas (Every year they get slammed)
Band-Aid for the Lakotas: But a Directly Applied One (Why we by-pass the charities)

Rosebud reservation is right next to Pine Ridge and experiences the same issues.
Pine Ridge: American Prisoner of War Camp #334 (History to explain the poverty)
Revealing Pine Ridge Rez Demographic Information (The poorest county in the U.S.)

indians at Rosebud Reservation
American Indian Heritage Month Banner

1:58 PM PT: Propane company info changed leaving only the Rosebud reservation one: St. Francis Energy Co.

Originally posted to Native American Netroots on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:49 AM PST.

Also republished by Invisible People.

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