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Pine Ridge NOTE Change of Address for sending supplies - formerly blankets for Pine R

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really there is not a lot to do, you contact

spirit rising through myself or the director Jeri Baker. We send you out some informaiton about how the program works. It is very unique in that you work directly with the family, call them write them, send things, form is friendships. I like to speak with all sponsors in person and talk about cultural differences so that there are no misunderstanding, review the expectations of the program, the sponsor committment. Children available are all ages from newborn to age 18. Some sponsors request an older child that they can communicated with more directly though letter writing and so on, other was a baby or toddler so that can look forward to sponsoring for several years. The sponsoring family is asked as to what type of child and age they are intereesting in forming this relationship with.

 

The committment is to send a care package a minimum of five times a year, the child's birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and the first day of school. Many sponsors find they send little things throughout the year. Some sponsors take on one child, some take a sibling group. Currently there are over 500 childrfen waiting, everytime I call to make a sponsor connection the reservation family tells me about another family in need.

 

My husband and I sponsor three children a set of twins and a b aby boy - we are having a blast, shopping watcing sales, great time now to hit Target and the like as the summer clothing is on clearance.

 

I hope I have been able to answer a few of your questsions Pamela

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Hidden Away, in the Land of Plenty....

* Median income is $2,600 per year with 85% to 95% unemployment

* Infant mortality rate 300% higher than the U.S. national average

* Diabetes and Tuberculosis rates 800% higher than the U.S. national average

* Elderly die each winter from hypothermia (freezing)

* At least 60% of the homes are severely substandard, without

water, electricity, adequate insulation, and sewage systems

* School drop-out rate is 70%

* Recent reports state the average life expectancy is 45 years old

while others state that it is 48 years old for men and 52 years old for women.

With either set of figures, that's the shortest life expectancy for any community in the

Western Hemisphere outside Haiti, according to The Wall Street Journal.

And the list goes on and on....

Simone

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> The Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Indian Reservation sits in Bennett, Jackson, and Shannon Counties and is located in the southwest corner of South Dakota, fifty miles east of the Wyoming border.

 

 

> The 11,000-square mile (over 2 million acres) Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation is the second-largest Native American Reservation within the United States. It is roughly the size of the State of Connecticut.

> According to the 1998 Bureau of Indian Affairs Census, the Pine Ridge Reservation is home to approximately 40,000 persons, 35% of which are under the age of 16. Approximately half the residents of the Reservation are registered tribal members of the Oglala Lakota Nation.

> The population is steadily rising, despite the severe conditions on the Reservation, as more and more Oglala Lakota return home from far-away cities in order to live within their societal values, be with their families, and assist with the revitalization of their culture and their Nation.

> Recent reports point out that the median income on the Pine Ridge Reservation is approximately $2,600 per year.

> The unemployment rate vacillates from 85% to 95% on the Reservation.

> There is no industry, technology, or commercial infrastructure on the Reservation to provide employment.

> The nearest town of size (which provides some jobs for those few persons able to travel the distance) is Rapid City, South Dakota with approximately 57,000 residents. It is located approximately 120 miles from the Reservation. The nearest large city to Pine Ridge is Denver, Colorado located about 350 miles away.

> Some figures state that the life expectancy on the Reservation is 48 years old for men and 52 for women. Other reports state that the average life expectancy on the Reservation is 45 years old. With either set of figures, that's the shortest life expectancy for a community anywhere in the Western Hemisphere outside Haiti, according to The Wall Street Journal.

> Teenage suicide rate on the Pine Ridge Reservation is 150% higher than the U.S. national average for this age group.

> The infant mortality rate is the highest on this continent and is about 300% higher than the U.S. national average.

> More than half the Reservation's adults battle addiction and disease. Alcoholism, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and malnutrition are rampant.

> The rate of diabetes on the Reservation is reported to be 800% higher than the U.S. national average.

> Recent reports indicate that almost 50% of the adults on the Reservation over the age of 40 have diabetes.

> As a result of the high rate of diabetes on the Reservation, diabetic-related blindness, amputations, and kidney failure are common.

> The tuberculosis rate on the Pine Ridge Reservation is approximately 800% higher than the U.S. national average.

> Cervical cancer is 500% higher than the U.S. national average.

> Each winter, Reservation Elders are found dead from hypothermia (freezing).

> It is reported that at least 60% of the homes on the Pine Ridge Reservation are infested with Black Mold, Stachybotrys. This infestation causes an often-fatal condition with infants, children, elderly, those with damaged immune systems, and those with lung and pulmonary conditions at the highest risk. Exposure to this mold can cause hemorrhaging of the lungs and brain as well as cancer.

> Many Reservation residents live without health care due to vast travel distances involved in accessing that care. Additional factors include under-funded, under-staffed medical facilities and outdated or non-existent medical equipment. There is little hope for increased funding for Indian health care.

> School drop-out rate is over 70%.

> According to a Bureau of Indian Affairs report, the Pine Ridge Reservation schools are in the bottom 10% of school funding by U.S. Department of Education and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

> Teacher turnover is 800% that of the U.S. national average

> The small Tribal Housing Authority homes on the Pine Ridge Reservation are so overcrowded and scarce that many homeless families often use tents or cars for shelter. Many families live in shacks, old trailers, or dilapidated mobile homes.

> There is a large homeless population on the Reservation, but most families never turn away a relative no matter how distant the blood relation. Consequently, many homes have large numbers of people living in them.

> There is an estimated average of 17 people living in each family home (a home which may only have two to three rooms). Some homes, built for 6 to 8 people, have up to 30 people living in them.

> 60% of Reservation families have no telephone.

> Over 33% of the Reservation homes lack basic water and sewage systems as well as electricity.

> Many residents must carry (often contaminated) water from the local rivers daily for their personal needs.

> 39% of the homes on the Pine Ridge Reservation have no electricity.

> 59% of the Reservation homes are substandard.

> It is reported that at least 60% of the homes on the Pine Ridge Reservation need to be burned to the ground and replaced with new housing due to infestation of the potentially-fatal Black Mold, Stachybotrys. There is no insurance or government program to assist families in replacing their homes.

> Some Reservation families are forced to sleep on dirt floors.

> Many Reservation homes lack adequate insulation. Even more homes lack central heating.

> Without basic insulation or central heating in their homes, many residents on the Pine Ridge Reservation use their ovens to heat their homes.

> Many Reservation homes lack stoves, refrigerators, beds, and/or basic furniture.

> Most Reservation families live in rural and often isolated areas.

> The largest town on the Reservation is the town of Pine Ridge which has a population of approximately 5,720 people and is the administrative center for the Reservation.

> There are few improved roads on the Reservation and many of the homes are inaccessible during times of heavy snow or rain.

> Weather is extreme on the Reservation. Severe winds are always a factor. Traditionally, summer temperatures reach well over 110*F and winters bring bitter cold with temperatures that can reach -50*F below zero or worse. Flooding, tornados, or wildfires are always a risk.

> Many of the wells and much of the water and land on the Reservation is contaminated with pesticides and other poisons from farming, mining, open dumps, and commercial and governmental mining operations outside the Reservation. A further source of contamination is buried ordnance and hazardous materials from closed U.S. military bombing ranges on the Reservation.

> The Pine Ridge Reservation still has no banks, motels, discount stores, or movie theaters. It has only one grocery store of any moderate size and it is located in the town of Pine Ridge on the Reservation.

> Several of the banks and lending institutions nearest to the Reservation were recently targeted for investigation of fraudulent or predatory lending practices, with the citizens of the Pine Ridge Reservation as their victims.

> There are no public libraries except one at the Oglala Lakota College.

> There is no public transportation available on the Reservation.

> Ownership of operable automobiles by residents of the Reservation is highly limited.

> Predominate form of travel for all ages on the Reservation is walking or hitchhiking.

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I have just spoken to Pamela (thanks so much for your help and all the work you do!) and will be sponsoring a teenage girl and 2 year old girl. I hope we can keep this thread up so we can keep up with everyone who is sponsoring. Thanks so much to everyone who has pointed out this great need. I am so glad I can help, even if it is in such a small way.

 

Tandi

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Tandi that is a great idea. This would be the perfect spot for those of us that are sponsoring the children on Pine Ridge to keep in touch with each other and help encourage each other.:hug

 

I just sent off a box of clothes and puzzels for my kids. I am going to call and try and talk with grandma or one of the moms tomorrow. I have 2 boys and 2 girls under 3:dance

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I am wondering if we should start a new thread for the sponsorship - some how tying the name together with the sponsoring it might just get a few other people to notice and think about sponsoring? What do you think

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Pamela, a friend and I were talking about this. While we can't sponsor at this time, we want to do something, and she wants to involve her 7 year old daughter. They don't crochet (yet), but perhaps if we can get some things together and forward them to you or someone who knows where to send them (with postage money) you could see they get where needed.

 

Kathy

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Yes I can either send them on - as I know a number of families personally or take them when I take the afghans and things in mid September. just send them to

 

Blankets for Pine Ridge

6922 East Fish Lake Road

Maple Grove, MN 55369

 

Thank you so much for thinking of these kids and what a wonderful thing to teach your daughter

 

Pamela

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Pamela -

 

Thank you for posting this thread. I spoke to Jeri yesterday and am now sponsoring a nine year old girl. I like the idea of a thread for sponsors to be able to communicate with each other. I think it would be good for those of us who are new at this.

Just my :2c ! Thanks again

_Jen

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Jeri is the Vice President over all programs, and I work just specifically with sponsors but any volunteers can help with sponsoring - as we really need each and everyone of you - Pamela

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I checked with Pamela about making some quilts for Pine Ridge (I'm a slow crocheter, but know I can do some quilts), so I'll be doing that, and I'll see if I can get some of my quilting friends to help. I know this is kind of off topic (since it's about quilting), but anything that helps out for the children and elders has to be a good thing!

 

By the way, thank you to those who posted the statistics about life at Pine Ridge--what an eye-opener!

 

If anyone is interested in quilting, I have a pattern suggestion--here's the link:

 

http://www.kayewood.com/onlinecat/6hr.html

 

It's called the Six-Hour Quilt by Kaye Wood, is quick and easy,and it's a great charity quilt. I've made it before, and it works up very easily. I think the six hour thing is kind of optimistic, unless you're making the very smallest version of the quilt and have a helper cutting your fabric, handing you things, wiping your brow, etc. The quilt comes out reversible, and it's quilted as you go along. It's also very sturdy, and should stand up to a lot of loving and washing. If you have quilting friends, it's a fun quilt to work on with others.

 

There are so many cute fabrics available for kids and adults, but I checked with Pamela about fabric themes because I don't want to offend. She had some suggestions on fabric, which I can pass along if you want to PM me, or PM me if you have any other questions about the quilting pattern.

 

Thanks to Pamela for this thread! :clap

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What a great idea Donna - it is so appreciated and needed. I thought I posted this all ready do you think we should start our own Yahoo group or perhaps post a new thread here - something catchy to let people know about sponsoring? I think it should be started by someone other htan me as I have two going right now and a new face might add some excitement to the thread Pamela

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Pamela:

 

I think a Sponsorship Forum would be a great idea, a place where Pine Ridge Sponsors can share their experiences and pictures. I'll go ahead and start the thread under the Crocheting for Charity category. Does that sound okay?

 

Donna L.

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I was thinking about how the fiber community could support the reservation, not just by giving items, but in a way that would help them support themselves.

 

Has anyone used/fondled Manos del Uruguay yarn?

http://www.kaleidoscopeyarns.com/manos-del-uruguay-kettle-dyed-wool-heavy-worsted-weight-yarn.html

 

 

 

This stuff is fabulous, and pricey. It’s handmade, co-op style by women in Uruguay. What about starting a program like that on the reservation?

 

. The fiber arts are on a huge upswing. How many of us have spent more on yarn to make a sweater than we could buy a finished sweater at the mall? This would be different than raising sheep and just selling the wool in bulk to the wool pool (very low $$ return) or trying to sell them as meat. This would need to be a complete process ending in a branded product. Selling a high quality yarn, even roving, would probably be more profitable than taking the next step and trying to sell finished garments.

 

 

Obviously this would be a huge undertaking, both in planning and initial investment, but it could go a long way to helping them become self sufficient. I’m just tossing thoughts I had out there; maybe those thoughts would get into the right hands.

 

 

Setting up as a co-op would be key. Pool resources of labor, space, $$ etc. Donations towards the project could be in the form of $$, grant writing, equipment, training and even animals.

 

 

The best type of sheep would have to be determined. Some breeds give you more bang for your buck. It would have to be a balance of quality & quantity of wool, keeping in mind the hardiness & ease of care of the animal itself. Alpaca could also be considered. Angora bunnies could be kept by individuals at their homes for additional income. Since Angora wool is best collected by hand brushing (rather than shearing) that is something that could allow older members to participate.

 

 

Cleaning, carding & dying would probably be best done in a central building, both for ease & consistency. Spinning could be done either at a central location or at home. Equipment would be a major investment, but Babe products are quite functional at a much lower cost. They even make electric spinners which would increase productivity.

 

 

The finished yarn could be skeined, labeled and shipped both to LYS and sold online through their own site, all giving more employment opportunities.

 

 

I have no idea where one starts to get something this big in motion....any thoughts????

 

 

Holly

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Holly,

I think that is a fabulous idea! It would take lots of concentrated effort on the part of alot of people. Maybe when Pamela goes there in Aug. and Oct. she can talk it up and see if there is any interest among the people on the reservation and if someone there would be able to manage the progect.

 

I have written a few grants for the non-profit org. I work for. I don't know where to start looking for grants for something like this but I would be willing to help write some grant proposals if we can get some

requests for proposals (RFP).

 

I don't know what else I could help with since I am not anywhere close to the reservation, but if it can be done by mail and internet, I am willing to contribute.

 

Barbara

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I would be glad to speak with people - we would need someone to do the actual training. I have printed your email - right now I am in California for my brother's wedding - but I will read it all through again when I get home at the end of the week thatnk you for caring so much - Pamela

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Hello,

 

I figured it was time to stop Lurking LOL.

 

I have a couple of afghans almost finished and will be sending them along.

 

Thanks

Mickie

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Has anyone used/fondled Manos del Uruguay yarn?

http://www.kaleidoscopeyarns.com/ma...eight-yarn.html

 

 

 

This stuff is fabulous, and pricey. It’s handmade, co-op style by women in Uruguay. What about starting a program like that on the reservation?

 

I fell in love with this when I got some for my swap partners...in fact, it's not sent to them yet because I keep visiting it and petting it in their boxes.

 

A co-op would be a wonderful idea,and I would support it as much as possible; but with the vast distances and limited transportation, could enough women get together to make it viable?

 

Kathy

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Holly & Kathy:

 

That is such a great idea! With the Internet, they could really reach a large market!

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Donna are you going to start the yahoo group for Pine Ridge?:think

I am excited to start sharing:yay :yay

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Hi, Lynn:

 

I was thinking maybe we should wait and see what Pamela wants to do, as far as having a Yahoo Group. I'm kind of new to the project, though am willing to help out if I can. I'm looking forward to her getting back later in the week so I can get hooked up with a couple of kids. It'll be fun to share and find out how everyone's children are doing! I was thinking that maybe having some Pine Ridge t-shirts or other items on Cafe Press might be a way to help out too, maybe even with drawings some of the children have made.

 

I'm technically challenged, but maybe someone could make a button for Pine Ridge Sponsorship??

 

By the way, thanks Lynn, for posting the link to

afghansetc4charity.com

I'm looking forward to participating in that group.

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This is still ratteling around in my brain, so I'm glad you guys don't think it's totally off the wall :lol

 

It would be an enormous undertaking. To make a truly viable, profitable yarn line it would have to be looked at as any other business undertaking, not just a little cottage industry type thing. The main difference though, instead of some faceless corporation profiting, the money would go back into the reservation's community.

 

I live in NJ myself, and have never been to any reservation. If this does get off the ground, I would love to continue being involved, but it would have to be mostly from afar. I'm so glad Pamala is here, having been there herself and making some future trips her knowledge will be invaluable. I have no idea of the logistics of the reservation, so the first step is to see if it's even feasable and if there is any interest by the people there.

 

Here are some random thoughts I had, once the feasability hurdle is passed.

 

It would take a huge amount of money to get the project started and to maintain operations until it started turing a profit. I would imagine at a minimum, it would be in the $75k-100k range, but probably more depending on what buildings are/are not available and what equipement gets donated rather than purchased. That's where grantwriting and fundraising comes in. Look at all the celebrity knitters too! Get a few of them behind the idea, plus the fiber community in general. Not just crocheters, but the spinners, the weavers, the knitters.

 

I'm envisioning this set up in clusters to make the work acessable to as many people as possible. There would need to be one central headquarters type place for things like shipping and administration of the program, but the flocks can be spread out in several locations. They can be sheared & the fleece cleaned, carded & spun by the people closest to the flock (not just women either!)

 

I'm thinking dying of the yarn would be better done at one location for consistancy.

 

Part of the co-op operating costs could be for a few large trucks to travel to the clusters and collect yarn/fleece.

 

The cluster concept would also work as far as training. Animals and equipement can be obtained for just one or two clusters at first.

Volunteers can come in to train those people. As those workers become proficient, they can be the ones to train the next cluster.

 

I'm also thinking any yarn "seconds", ones not quite good enough for sale, could still be good enough to make into knitted/crocheted items for the people living there, so there would be no production waste.

 

this is really just the tip of the iceburg, probably further discussion would be better in email or the yahoo group being set up..but any ideas are welcome!!!!

 

holly

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I am new here to this forum. My name is Lorna, I am old enough to know better, have 3 kids who have given me 5 grandsons, so about 2 yrs ago I started sponsoring a little girl through Spirit Rising.Don't know if this is allowed but there are already several yahoo groups for Pine Ridge, one of them is for sponsors through Spirit Rising. It was started last year right before Christmas,by some that 2 or 3 people were all sharing the same family, to keep up with who is doing what. And Jeri Baker does give us updates about what is happening. They are working hard to get a Share Program going. If anyone wants to talk more about it I will be happy to discuss it with you privately.

Lorna

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I'm all for helping them to become self sufficient. However, let me flip this around. I make Native dance shawls. A plain shawl with a moderate amount of fringe I charge $45 for! And ones with ribbonwork and heavy fringe have gone as high as $125. However, people on the whole don't want to buy. My point is this...in order to upkeep a business financially is expensive. Now add in the cost of supplies, crafting time, marketing, etc. You have no choice but to mark things up...way up. The majority of people are not going to want to pay an arm and a leg regardless of wether or not it's Native made or where the money is going. If I had a choice, I for one would buy something made commercially priced within my budget.

 

 

There is a company called Southwest Indian Fund. They sell hadcrafted items made by tribes of the southwest. My mother gets their catalog. While the items are beautiful, they are way out of reach for most budgets.

 

On top of this, the majority would have to be taught. That takes time, energy and money. And that needs to be done prior to the business getting off the ground.

 

Over the years I've seen several ideas that were great, but ended up going under because the demand is just not there. For instance, several years ago there was a contract with a major sneaker company for beaded sneakers. I forget what Res was doing it...but I believe it was one of the Siox Res'. Anyhow, the sneakers just didn't sell. And they cost a fortune due to the time it took to make them. I bought a pair only because they were more comfortable to wear dancing than my mocs. There was little training needed because beading is common there. So they were able to cut cost there. However, it bombed and money was lost.

 

You need to make certain before hand that there is a demand for it. Just because the cause is good, does not guarantee that people will purchase it. Can it be produced cheap enough that the price for the finished product is affordable for the target market?

 

I'm not trying to knock the idea...I think it's a great one. But I want to make sure the downsides are addressed as well. It's a huge undertaking and expensive all around. Just my :2c

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Hi Donna,

 

I am so excited that our charity group is growing. I think it is wonderful that you quilt. :cheer I believe we only have around 3 quilters in our group so far.

I guess we better wait until Pamela get's back to see about the sponsorship group.

As the other lady posted, she said there is already a yahoo group for sponsors. So I guess we ought to check that out.

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