Winter is hitting with a vengeance tomorrow. We are on a wind chill advisory tomorrow night with lows below zero and wind chills as low as 30 below. Brrrrr.
At the Center we will be doing our best to help people stay warm. We deal with cold in a number of ways. Tomorrow we will offer HOT food out the front door. Most likely a soup which will warm hands as well as bellies. We will open the doors of the center to allow people to come in and warm up, rest and if needed shower. We will hand out every blanket that we have available, though this season we have given out 100’s of donated blankets already. We have a collection of jackets and knit gloves.
Perhaps the biggest impact is our energy matching fund. Using donations, we will match up to $200.00 to help the Lakota people pay their electric or propane bills. The Program started for the season on December 1st. So far, we have helped 142 households, 660 people and have given away almost $24,000.00 in funds. The demand has been so great that we are effectively out of funds. We are hopeful that additional funds will arrive in the mail.
Starting tomorrow, working in conjunction with the tribe and other non-profit organizations, we will take over the operation of the homeless shelters. We are doing so to ensure that the homeless people can be inside out of the wind and have a warm bed.
If you would like to help us keep people warm you can mail us a check at:
PO Box 862, Pine Ridge, SD 57770. You can go to our website pineridgereconciliationcenter.org to donate online or Venmo @Daniel-Johnson-57770.