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Countdown to Summer 2024 - Together, we can make this a summer to remember.

Updated: Apr 25

Summer is a time for FOOD, FUN, FRIENDSHIP, and FAMILY.

For Lakota families on Pine Ridge Reservation however, that is often not the case. Tables are often bare, children are out of school and looking for ways to pass the time, and the summer heat can be debilitating - physically and emotionally. 

This is why we are so happy to launch our COUNTDOWN TO SUMMER 2024 FUNDRAISER!

With less than 50 days before Memorial Day, we are preparing many programs and events that will support Lakota children, teens, and adults across the Rez.

We need your help to meet our goals and make this summer a summer to remember for everyone.

Some of our summer goals include:

  • Completing and stocking 2 new food pantries in Manderson and Pine Ridge in addition to the currently-open pantry in Allen

  • Staffing and operating the Allen Youth Center so it can host classes and events, serve nutritious lunches each day to students who would otherwise go without, and be a safe place for children and teens to spend their days away from the negative influences that are prevalent across the reservation

  • Supporting One Spirit Employment Program participants as they venture out to their respective locations to gain work experience, see new places, and meet new people from other walks of life

  • Giving children new experiences on and off the rez with Horse Spirit Camps, Camp Marrowbone, and Lakota YouthStay

When it comes to supporting the communities across the Rez, each one of our programs has the goal of EMPOWERMENT. When we first began working with people from Pine Ridge almost 20 years ago, they made it very clear that they didn't want hand outs. They wanted to learn and grow as individuals and as a community so that they can be self-sufficient and thrive with their traditions and culture at the forefront. This is why so much of what we do is focused on education and economic development. We want everyone to feel like they are capable of amazing things and programs like the Charging Buffalo Meat House, the One Spirit Employment Program, and the Allen Youth Center are constantly doing just that.

One of our latest additions to our Youth Initiative umbrella, Lakota YouthStay, is a prime example. Each July, Lakota youth aged 10-15 travel across the country to the Boston area, where they stay with a host family, explore new places, and take part in workshops and activities that aren't available on the rez. One parent of a participant says, “Our child had a chance to see what the world has to offer and is more eager to learn more about exploring the world." Additionally, a grandparent of another participant expresses that her granddaughter, "has more confidence in herself and is interested in college now."

These are the experiences that we strive to give to everyone on the reservation. We want to instill confidence to learn and grow as we also support current critical needs like healthy food and a safe place for children to play and learn - and the summer is a great time to do this!

There are several ways you can help us prepare for the summer!

  • You can make a donation to One Spirit that will go toward the program most in need of support

  • You can make a commitment to MATCH donations for a specific program or specific monetary amount by sending us an email with your contact information and pledge

  • You can tell your friends and family about our summer goals and how they can help

The summer can be a difficult season for many people on Pine Ridge... but it doesn't have to be.

YOU can help make this a summer to remember!

Tables can be full of nutritious food. Children can be safe while learning and experiencing new things. Families can focus on enjoying their time together.

Thank you for supporting One Spirit and the Lakota people of Pine Ridge Reservation. Be sure to follow us on social media to learn more about our summer programs and stay up to date on all the amazing work that is being done!


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