The month of December brought a flurry of activity.
Annually, the Lakota Nations assemble in Rapid City, SD for a tournament and celebration of culture and sports. THIS YEAR, Lakota Children’s Enrichment was represented at the Lakota Nation Invitational (LNI) with an information table staffed by LCE Youth Board members and volunteers! We met loads of people, spread the word about our upcoming Writing and Art Challenge, and circulated informational flyers YAB member Summer Montileaux made about nutrition and AIDS/HIV Awareness.
Pictured above, LCE President Maggie Dunne ran into Youth Advisory Board (YAB) members Bobby Pourier, Colton Sierra and Summer Montileaux.
Later, they watched YAB member Marcus Ruff (left) WIN the Spoken Word Competition. Go Marcus!
It was all about the teens in ROCKYFORD on Sunday December 21 as the School gym was packed for LCE’s Holiday Party! The incredibly popular party brought together about 100 teens and young adults from the surrounding areas to decorate Santa hats, package food for local families, chill to the tunes of local band Scatter Their Own, share a meal and spread some holiday merriment!
Youth Board member Summer Montileaux applied prize money she won from ABC/Disney/Youth Service America towards this event. With a little help from our supporters, an Amazon Wish List was filled, which gave us a great selection of teen presents. We had hundreds of gifts and books for children of all ages and youth teams distributed a large selection of headphones, sneakers, boots, North Face caps, gloves and other goodies. In addition, we filled healthy food packages for local families!
As momentum gathered around the Rockyford party, LCE received a grant from Running Strong for American Indian Youth, which allowed us to produce an epic all star event! The contribution from Running Strong — which was specifically designated for the Rockyford party — allowed LCE to devote more resources than ever to other areas of Kyle and in Wanblee.
Team LCE made some new friends on this trip! A chance meeting with Brad Corrigan, Friends of the Lakota Nation and Love Light and Melody resulted in a large donation of Dispatch t-shirts (Brad’s band) and gifts for the younger siblings of those attending the Rockyford event! This collaboration also allowed us to supplement gifts for the events in Kyle and Wanblee!
Following our annual tradition, we provided Inila-Wakan Janis (“Keith Janis”) of Kyle with hundreds of gifts for children of all ages, boots, coats, sneakers, shampoos and hundreds of books. Inila reported that loads of families shared a pot luck supper and then all of the children received gifts from Santa.
This year was the fullest house ever and luckily we provided Inila with hundreds of gifts purchased directly through Amazon, from shopping sprees in Rapid City, and hundreds of books! Thank you to our fans who donated to LCE so that we could keep on shopping for this event!
LCE’s new Youth Board Member CAITIE, from Wanblee, will spend the week between Christmas and New Years distributing gifts throughout the community where she lives as well as the neighboring communities of Potato Creek and Corn Creek. Caitie compiled a list of children in her community who did not receive gifts this holiday season. Due to our collaboration with Friends of Lakota Nation, Caitie will distribute more than 100 toys to youngsters in Wanblee and surrounding areas! Pictured above is Caitie presenting LCE President Maggie Dunne with a quilt Caitie made by hand. Awesome!
December was a busy and exciting month! Along the way we got to visit with some of our special friends. Below is Youth Advisory Board member Jetta along with her family and LCE’s Maggie Dunne. Thank you to everyone who supports our work in a small or big way!!! We can’t do this work without your support.
We’ll be back in operation in January, as Youth Board member Bobbie Pourier leads discussions at Middle Schools about education and the power of knowledge. Stay tuned…