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3rd Annual Fill A Backpack Drive!

Third Annual Fill A Backpack Drive
Backpacks, School Supplies, Sneakers, Sports Equipment

    If you do not readily have access to any of the below items, then please consider sending online contributions directly to our distribution location listed below from Walmart, Target, Amazon or some other Internet source, or make a tax deductible donation on our “Donate” button on the top right of this page and let us do the shopping for you!


Packages should be sent by MARCH 3, 2012.
All packages sent will be distributed the week of March 11, 2012 to Reservation Schools and children by students from Colgate University’s Project PEACE (Pine ridgE Aid for ChildrEn), with help from our friends at Re-Member. Please observe our Giving Guidelines set forth on our Shipping Instructions Tab.

ASSEMBLE THE FOLLOWING:
  • Backpacks
  • Please fill with the following: Spiral notebooks, graph paper, calculator, markers, crayons, colored pencils, paper, pens, ruler, arts and craft materials, a journal or diary, a book suitable for the intended age of the recipient.
  • Tape a note on the outside of the backpack indicating whether its contents are suitable for a boy or girl and the approximate age group (Elementary, Middle School or High School) 
Satisfied customers; right after opening a box filled with school supplies and crafts!

ADDITIONAL ITEMS NEEDED: 

  • Sneakers (new and barely used only; they are needed for sports)
  • Sports equipment (Frisbees, Soccer Balls, Basketballs, etc.)
  • Spring and summer clothing (gift quality new or barely used only)
  • Books for school libraries (preschool through High Schools)

LOCAL NY DROP OFF LOCATION:
Scarsdale Congregational Church Parish House
One Heathcote Road
Scarsdale, NY (red brick building at corner of Heathcote and Post Roads)

ADDRESSES FOR MAILING OR SHIPPING:  
(Please follow instructions on our Shipping Instructions Tab)
BY US POSTAL MAIL:
Maggie Dunne-Lakota Children’s Drive 
c/o Re-Member
P.O. Box 5054 
Pine Ridge, SD 57770
BY FED EX OR UPS DELIVERY:
Maggie Dunne-Lakota Children’s Drive
c/o Re-Member
5 St. Ann Rd.
Pine Ridge, SD 57770

Suggested ways to MOBILIZE those around you:

  • Involve a school: each class can assemble a backpack, supplies and sneakers
  • Involve a church, temple or religious organization for a day of service
  • Involve a sports team to gather equipment!
  • Share notices of your drive: ask store vendors and toy stores to collect donations for you!
  • Have a bake sale to raise funds to help pay for shipping!
  •  Email and/or Facebook Share this notice to everyone you know: ask for ONE item from each!
NEW IN 2012: Want to be recognized as an affiliated chapter? You only have to participate in one event per year and we will feature you on our BLOG!
NEW IN 2012: Want to guest blog about your experiences in giving? Send us a picture and a brief description of your effort and what you learned!

Email us at lakotakids@gmail.com




The Path of Least Resistance

Below are excerpts from a Commentary published by LCE Founder and President Maggie Dunne, in Colgate University’s Maroon New, September 1, 2011, which she states in part:

“The history of the Lakota Sioux and the quality of reservation life is not taught in most school curriculums in all likelihood because the topic is a great American hypocritical embarrassment. After all, as a nation we condemn other nations for displacing, colonizing and attempting to starve their indigenous populations into extinction.


“By remaining silent and by ignoring prejudice, we become complicit in our nation’s historic failures to rectify or examine the injustices that have been inflicted on many native communities. The reality is that today, in 2011, due in part to government failures, inaction and discrimination, many Lakota children are being left behind and are being precluded from entering the Race to the Top.

The symptoms of historical trauma and bureaucratic failures are not reasons to condemn an entire community, but rather, they are the compelling reasons why outsiders should step up to help fill the gap. All Americans should support the efforts of the Lakota and other native communities to build a better future, not because we feel sorry for them or seek thanks, but because it is the right thing to do; it is a legal and moral imperative that has been ignored for too long.”

The article can be viewed by clicking THIS LINK

FULL TEXT OF ARTICLE

I visited Colgate University in 2008, the day after a derogatory racial statement was found scrawled on a bathroom stall. While I had read online reviews that Colgate students can be apathetic, the response that I witnessed on my campus visit proved this assessment wrong and reinforced my decision to apply early decision. The campus was mobilized to openly dis­cuss the issue of racism and to invalidate the statement. My first year, the entire school devoted a portion of the curriculum to tolerance and diversity.

Some of my friends have confided that they have encoun­tered occasional prejudice or racism on campus, but I never witnessed any such behavior myself until last spring.

I was selling tickets for a fundraiser to bring a summer camp to Lakota children on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Da­kota, a community that is very close to my heart and which I invest a lot of time and energy in to help. A student, now a Colgate alumnus, approached our table and stated a number of objections to our efforts based on racial stereotypes and hate; no facts, no history and no justification other than his interest in sparing taxpayers the cost of helping “lazy drunken deadbeats” who exploit free federal services.

Our attempt to educate the student about the impediments faced by the Lakota went un­acknowledged. He did not want to hear about their circumstances. From the massacre of hun­dreds of unarmed Lakota at Wounded Knee (taught in many schools as a battle), to breached treaties, broken trust obligations, forced dis­placements and children being removed coer­cively from their families, history plays a part in the present. In my role as an advocate in solidarity with the minority voice of the Lakota Nation, I have encountered many people who are unaware of the history of the Lakota Sioux. However, this was the first incident in which I witnessed such blatant disrespect and hostility.

I have seen firsthand how the current population of Pine Ridge systematically is marginalized due, in part, to bureaucratic failures: mail is not delivered to residences, cell phones, internet access and computers are not affordable for most, water access and mass transportation are limited, schools struggle to keep teachers, roads can be impassible for weeks and health care and housing are sub-standard. I challenge anyone who believes that the Lakota are living high on federal benefits to spend a month on the Pine Ridge Reservation and then, please, report back.

If you cannot get to work because there is no transportation and unpaved roads are knee-deep in mud, then you cannot hold a job; it does not mean that you are lazy. If you cannot get a ride to the medical clinic 25 miles away (which may or may not be staffed depending upon the current state of the Indian Health Service (IHS) budget, and you or your infant may die, it does not mean that you are a bad parent.

The history of the Lakota Sioux and the quality of reservation life is not taught in most school curriculums in all likelihood because the topic is a great American hypocritical embarrassment. After all, as a nation we condemn other nations for displacing, colonizing and attempting to starve their indigenous populations into extinction.

Is there dysfunction, historical trauma and a distrust of white people on Pine Ridge? Is there alcoholism, unemploy­ment, gang life and violence? Are the Lakota a difficult popula­tion to help? Without a doubt.

History has shown that not all victims of crimes against hu­manity suffer from Stockholm Syndrome. Like it or not, many of our nation’s natives do not trust non-natives. Further, like it or not, our forefathers committed atrocities and then agreed by treaty and trust agreement to provide housing, education and health care to the Lakota – agreements that have only been observed partially and occasionally, in the breach.

The feeling of overwhelming hopelessness that temporarily consumed me when I was confronted by the student’s unapolo­getic voice of prejudice affected my spring semester. In the pro­cess of working through the incident, I reflected on how this kind of hate must feel to a person of Lakota heritage.

Last spring, my peers advised me to “ignore” the student, to “move on” and to “get over it.” With due respect to my well-meaning friends whose advice I followed, ignoring racism and taking the path of least resistance was wrong.

By remaining silent and by ignoring prejudice, we become complicit in our nation’s historic failures to rectify or examine the injustices that have been inflicted on many native communities. The reality is that today, in 2011, due in part to government failures, inaction and discrimination, many Lakota chil­dren are being left behind and are being precluded from entering the Race to the Top.

The symptoms of historical trauma and bu­reaucratic failures are not reasons to condemn an entire community, but rather, they are the com­pelling reasons why outsiders should step up to help fill the gap. All Americans should support the efforts of the Lakota and other native communi­ties to build a better future, not because we feel sorry for them or seek thanks, but because it is the right thing to do; it is a legal and moral imperative that has been ignored for too long.

 

4th Annual Children’s Coat, Boot, Toy and Book Drive

As part of USA Weekend’s Make A Difference Day, LPRCEP is running its 4th Annual Drive to Benefit Oglala Lakota Children on Pine Ridge Reservation and we will start shipping on Saturday, October 22, 2011 and continue collecting through October 29, 2011.

Please start collecting new or barely used:
Children’s COATS
BOOTS
Non-battery Operated TOYS
Children’s BOOKS

DROP OFF LOCATIONS in Westchester County, NY: items should be dropped in the bins in the lobby of the Scarsdale Congregational Church, Parish House, red brick building at One Heathcote Rd, Scarsdale, NY, or you can drop off at the Post Road entrance of the Scarsdale High School.

GET BUSY: Clean a closet, shop a sale, clear out a thrift shop, sort through toys and surplus birthday gifts with your children, clean out a closet, internet shop!

 

 Together we can help keep the children of Pine Ridge warm this winter.
 Please send only new or very gently used clean items, please!

The least expensive method of shipping is Postal Parcel Post or else purchasing online from a vendor that provides free shipping! Below are addresses to be used for mailing through Postal, UPS or Fed Ex; additional shipping locations will be added as they are confirmed!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
LOCATION ONE
Via U.S. Mail
Stephana Standing Bear
Wanblee CAP
PO Box 289
Wanblee, S DAK 57577

Via UPS/Fed Ex:
Stephana Standing Bear
Wanblee CAP
500 First Street
Wanblee, S Dak 57577

PHONE: (605) 462-6302

NEEDED: Infant through grade 12: coats, boots, warm outerwear, toys and books
Warm outerwear will be distributed as it arrives AT THE CAP OFFICE
Toys will be distributed at HOLIDAY PARTIES
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
LOCATION TWO
Via U.S. Mail
 

LISA BULL DEAR
Kyle CAP
PO Box 496
Kyle, S DAK 57752

Via Fed Ex/UPS:
 

LISA BULL DEAR
Kyle CAP
BIA 4; Main Street
Medicine Root District Service Center
KYLE, S DAK 57752

PHONE: (605) 455-2448

NEEDED: Infant through grade 12: younger children especially need coats and boots
ITEMS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED AT THE KYLE CAP OFFICES AT THE END OF OCTOBER THROUGH EARLY NOVEMBER

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
LOCATION THREE
Via U.S. Mail:
Roberta Ecoffey
Healthy Start Prenatal Clinic
P. O. Box 3009
Pine Ridge, SD 57770

Via UPS/FedEx:
Roberta Ecoffey
Healthy Start Prenatal Clinic
100 Main St., Hwy 18
Old Hospital Bldg.
Pine Ridge, SD 57770
 
PHONE: (605) 867-6228

NEEDED: Infant through small children, coats, blankets, maternity clothing and warm outerwear; diapers and formula also needed
ITEMS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED TO CUSTOMERS OF THE CLINIC (and their families), THROUGH APPOINTMENTS SET UP BY THE MANAGEMENT.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
LOCATION FOUR
Via U.S. Mail:
American Horse School
Attn: Jodi Richards, Middle School Principal
P.O. Box 660
Allen, SD 57714

Via UPS/FedEx
American Horse School
Annt: Jodi Richards
100 West Main Street
Allen, SD 57714

NEEDED: This is an Elementary and Middle School, for children 4 through 14. Coats, boots, warm outerwear all needed. 
ITEMS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED BY SCHOOL OFFICIALS DIRECTLY TO STUDENTS 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

LOCATION FIVE
Via U.S. Mail:
Mary Bettelyoun
Lacreek District CAP
P.O. Box 681
Martin, South Dakota 57551

Via USP/FedEx:
Mary Bettelyoun
Lacreek District CAP
East Highway 18
Martin, South Dakota 57551

NEEDED: The CAPs service the entire community and need all sizes of snow coats, insulated boots and warm outerwear for children.

Backpacks and Smiles: A Report on the Fill-a-Backpack Drive

Backpacks and Smiles

Thank you to everyone who participated in the recent Fill A Backpack Drive run by the Lakota Pine Ridge Children’s Enrichment Project (LPRCEP). Over spring break, along with students from Colgate University, I had the honor of distributing your donations to children and Reservation schools. Once again, your collective efforts have made a huge impact.

Each visit to Pine Ridge I have felt a stronger pulse of positive energy and hope among the population. There are so many stories of proud and talented people who are working hard to bring about change for the Lakota, despite unimaginable hurdles and losses. This trip, I was able to reunite with one of my favorites, “Jana” (name changed for privacy purposes).

Jana in 2007

I first met Jana in 2007, on my first trip to the Pine Ridge Reservation. It was 30 degrees outside and Jana was wearing only a t-shirt and flip-flops, she did not own a coat or boots. We had a brief conversation and I gave her school supplies, books and a warm hug.

Working as a volunteer for Re-Member, an outreach group on the Reservation, later that day I visited Jana’s trailer to deliver a bunk bed, and discovered that she lived in comparably the worst conditions on the Reservation. The door to the trailer was secured to its frame by duct tape. Inside, family members stayed warm by the heat of a stove, and plastic sheets covered the openings where windows blown away by windstorms once hung.

Despite her surroundings, 4-year old Jana was bright, happy and radiated an infectious aura of joy. Jana embraced our contact and accepted our smiles as gifts, which she enthusiastically returned in kind. In the following years, Jana’s young mother died only months after giving birth to Jana’s youngest sibling, who is now 3 years old. Through the years, I have sent Jana and her siblings items donated to LPRCEP’s supply drives.

Jana in 2011

Over spring break in March of 2011, I reunited with Jana, who is 8 years old. Jana and one brother now live with an aunt and three cousins, their third residence in recent years. I brought along a large collection of gifts from LPRCEP.

Lying prominently on top of a huge box filled with backpacks, sneakers, toys and a host of tempting items was a doll, in a beautiful dress adorned with sparkling crystals. Jana, the intended beneficiary of the doll, stepped forward and removed the doll from the top of the collection, as if to claim it for her own. After admiring the doll in her arms for a brief moment, Jana quickly turned to her little cousin, placed the doll in her cousin’s arms and said “Here you go, this is for you — now you can play with this – aren’t you a lucky girl?” Her little cousin beamed.

As the rest of the items were distributed, Jana appeared more interested in giving items to others than claiming anything for herself. In fact, the entire collection of children accepted what was given to them, without complaint, without comparing one person’s gifts to another’s, and without attempting to assert ownership over something given to someone else.

Jana remains hopeful, generous and full of joy, a great testament to her young mother, who died too early to see the remarkable strength of her brave daughter. At age 8, Jana understands the message of the Lakota prayer Mitakuye Oyasin, (literally, “We Are All Related”), is teaching the tradition to her siblings, and is living it by example. Like her Lakota ancestors, Jana — who had so very little herself – not only unconditionally shared her gifts with those around her, but also demonstrated maturity and grace beyond her years.

Other Deliveries

Our friends at Re-Member drove us over 200 miles to spread good cheer to children and schools. We delivered donations to the American Horse School, Little Wound School, Loneman School, Rockyford School, and the Redshirt School.

LPRCEP representatives recently returned in May 2011 to participate in a pilot summer camp for Lakota children, in partnership with The National Indian Youth Leadership Project and Wings of America. We hope that this pilot program will lay the foundation for additional summer camp opportunities across the reservation in future years.

Woplia-Tanka

Recently, I have received recognition for spreading awareness and for helping Lakota children, a distinction with which I am not entirely comfortable. The true heroes are the Lakota people, who have maintained their culture, against all odds. I am an advocate for change; I cannot know what it is like to be Lakota, however, I can stand in solidarity with the Lakota people, listen to them, and learn from them.

The other heroes are those who continue to support the efforts of LPRCEP. The local New York effort was greatly assisted by publicity in the Scarsdale Inquirer, by the Scarsdale Congregational Church, and by an anonymous corporate donor that generously paid to ship the 1,000 pounds donated by local residents to Pine Ridge by Federal Express ground delivery! The Tuckahoe-Eastchester Girl Scouts and a 4-H Club made the drive one of their spring service projects. Facebook Fans from all over the world loaded backpacks, Internet shopped and sent almost an equal amount directly to the Reservation, which Team Colgate distributed with the help of our friends at Re-Member. There was so much sent ahead that we were able to share distribution activities with students from Columbia University who also devoted their spring breaks to the Lakota.

Wopila-tanka (Lakota for “Many Thanks”) for your incredible generosity.

Peace,

Maggie Dunne, SHS ‘09
Lakota Pine Ridge Children’s Enrichment Project, Ltd.
Project PEACE (Pine ridgE Aid for ChildrEn), Colgate University
http://lakotakids.blogspot.com

Second Annual Fill A Backpack Drive!!

Satisfied customers Jetta, Stryker and Cinda
This week marks the launch of Lakota Children’s Enrichment’s Second Annual Fill A Backpack Drive for the children on Pine Ridge. Please take the time to clean your child’s closet and desk.  If you do not readily have access to these items, then please consider sending online contributions directly to our distribution location listed below from Walmart, Target, Amazon or some other Internet source (sneakers and school supplies are on sale now and shipping instructions are below). Thank you for your continuing support. 
Invite your friends to join this effort, drop off donations if you are local in NY or ship directly through online purchases and take advantage of free shipping options from Walmart, Target, Amazon or your favorite vendor.  SHIPMENTS SHOULD BE SENT BEFORE MARCH 6, 2011.
All donations will be distributed to Reservation Schools and children by students from Colgate University’s Project PEACE (Pine ridgE Aid for ChildrEn), with help from our friends at Re-Member.
Please FILL A BACKPACK with any/all of the following:

1. BACKPACKS AND SCHOOL SUPPLIES (including, calculators, binders, spiral notebooks, pens, markers, crayons, folders, arts and craft materials);

2. SPORTS EQUIPMENT (including soccer balls, basketballs, Frisbees, etc.);

3. NEW OR BARELY USED SNEAKERS (children cannot do sports without them);
4.  SMALL TOYS – non battery operated only (including trendy jewelry item, hair clips, cards, a small popular item for grades k-12);

5. Children’s CLOTHING, new or barely used – for spring and summer; and

6. Children’s BOOKS (popular reading for all ages).

LOCAL NY DROP OFF LOCATION:
Scarsdale Congregational Church Parish House
One Heathcote Road
Scarsdale, NY (red brick building at corner of Heathcote and Post Roads)

OR SEND ONLINE PURCHASES DIRECTLY TO:
Maggie Dunne-Lakota Children’s Drive (3/12/11)
c/o Re-Member
P.O. Box 5054
5 St. Ann Rd (if street address is needed for shipment)
Pine Ridge, SD 57770

Link to our Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?id=705930208&pid=6142068#!/event.php?eid=193618027318695