Friday, February 5, 2010

Want to help Cheyenne River's State of Emergency But Lack Funds?

Want to help Cheyenne River's State of Emergency But Lack Funds?

Do you have candles lying around? Extra batteries? These are desperately needed, as are water filters. Read below to see where to send them and how you can easily make a difference!

One week ago, an ice storm swept through the mid-west taking down thousands of electrical poles, leaving thousands on The Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in South Dakota in a federal State of Emergency without heat, electricity and even water. By now, the National Guard has helped to restore much of the Reservations power, which is roughly the size of Connecticut, but at least 10% of the Reservation, will be without power and water for another week. Because resources are limited in this impoverished area during the best of times, many supplies are needed, some as simple as band-ads and aspirin, some as critical as dialysis and insulin.

Conversations with residents of Cheyenne River say that financial donations are going to repairing the downed poles and wires, but many families are left in critical circumstances. Water is now undrinkable! When the wells lost power, bacteria entered the water and must now be filtered. People are being told not to even brush their teeth. If you want to help provide for the families by sending goods you can send them to the following addresses. If you wish to order from (saves shipping costs!) for delivery to the Pierre South Dakota store, we will arrange pick up. Margie Uses Knife should be the pick up contact. Please order as many as you can from Walmart for pick up or shipping:
PUR 3-Stage Faucet Vertical Mount Filtration System # FM-3700

Also Badly Needed! Batteries, candles, flashlights, kerosene, non-perishable foods and water, blankets!

Order for Pick up or send direct to:
Takini School
Attn: Francine Hall
HC 77 Box 537
Howes, SD 57748

Financial donations to Changing Winds will be spent with every penny going to purchase these items for delivery to those who are still without power.

You will know that your donations served the people in need!
For more information, visit or call 203-256-9720

Changing Winds Advocacy Center is a Fairfield based 501 C3 non-profit organization that serves children’s organizations on at least seven Indian Reservations with a Drive for Warmth that runs every year from September through January. This year, Changing Winds sent out four trucks to various reservations in South Dakota bringing warm clothing, linens and housewares but also providing bicycles, baseball and football equipment for hundreds of children, sewing machines for the elderly and young to develop skills to build cottage industries, and furniture to provide beds for families in homes where 10 to 12 people of four generations are living together in small three bedroom homes. It is hard to imagine that there are places in our country where children are sleeping on floors and in cars, where only 30% of Reservation residents have drivable cars, where the only reliable source of heat is wood, and that water can become a lost resource if the town generator goes out.

Changing Winds serves organizations that struggle to provide a better future for the Lakota children whose statistics of tragedy far outweigh others in the country. Youth suicide statistics are 150% higher then any other group, with some children as young as eight years old taking their life. Unemployment is about 85%, and the same percentage of Lakota children live in extreme poverty. High school drop out rates of Native American children are approximately 75% and are worse in schools where there is a mixed group of children. In many schools, discrimination against Native Americans is actually the cause of the failure of the child to complete their education.

Christine Rose

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