CURRENT ONGOING PROJECTS
Lakota Friends Circle is meeting the following needs. These will change with the seasons and as we work towards a future of sustainable development.
1. Local distribution of much needed food, school supplies, etc. provided by the national organization Running Strong for American Indian Youth. Donations arrive on the Reservation at the Running Strong warehouse in Manderson and have to be picked-up, driven the 50 miles to Wanblee and distributed to local families. We provide the gas needed for the vehicles involved and lunch for the volunteers.
2. Food from the Rapid City Food Bank. Jerome High Horse has an arrangement with the Food Bank to purchase meat and produce at $0.15/pound. Every month he makes the four hour round trip to the city to buy several hundred pounds of meat and other food to distribute to needy elders and families. Lakota Friends Circle pays for the gas to accomplish this.
3. Wood for homes that are heated by wood stoves. Jerome High Horse leads local volunteers or “woodchucks” as they drive to areas where ranchers have invited them to cut down and clear dead trees. These are brought back to the home of the High Horses where they are split and piled so they are ready for pick up. We help provide the gas, sturdy gloves, and replacement chainsaw parts to make this possible.
4. Food and supplies for Community events. Community gatherings are held in Wanblee at Christmas, Easter, and Halloween and when needed for events hosted by the Ambulance and Fire Services. Several hundred people usually attend and are fed with a cookout.
5. Clothing, shoes, baby supplies, personal items, etc. are donated through Lakota Friends Circle for the Sacred Shawl Society domestic violence shelter in Martin on the reservation. The shelter has a large storage area which serves as a donation center for women and children needing a safe place to stay and for local elders and their families.
6. Clothing, food, baby supplies, household items, fabric, sewing and craft supplies, and many more things are donated to Lakota Friends Circle in care of Theresa and Jerome High Horse for distribution to needy families and individuals in Wanblee and surrounding areas.
7. Utilization of a new White House initiative aimed at helping low income families buy more affordable diapers. Lakota Friends Circle accepts cash donations in order to purchase diapers through this program for distribution by Theresa and Jerome High Horse.
8. Art supplies for a fifth grade class at Wolf Creek Elementary School. Mrs. Locke, a fifth grade teacher, needs art supplies for her class. Lakota Friends Circle has supplied paper, pencils, markers, paint, etc. and will continue to do so.
9. Cash prizes for an essay contest open to all 5th grade students at Wolf Creek Elementary School. LFC provided $50 in prize money for an essay contest on “What I Can Do for My Community” and following requests from the students supplied bags and gifts for the class members to take to their local elders. We plan to repeat this project each year.
10. Books for the K – 12 students of Crazy Horse School in Wanblee. A recent drive among contributors brought many books about animals for World Reading Day. There is a continuing need for books of all sorts. New and gently used volumes are greatly appreciated.
11. Urgent and emergency requests are considered on an individual basis as far as the funds are available. These have included: food, heat, clothing, gas for medical trips, eyeglasses, and car repairs. $130 will purchase propane for heat and cooking, $40 will pay for gas for a round trip to Rapid City for a medical or dental appointment, around $90 will buy a pair of eyeglasses.