UPDATE!! Winter Coat and Toy Drive for my extended family on the Reservation

 

Hi Friends,

I received a letter from one of our friends that support the Lakota and he and our spiritual leader will be attending the function at Morettis on Friday.  You will be able to ask questions and get to know more about who you are helping with your donations.  Tom and Dan are leaders within our group and work tirelessly to help our American Indian Natives on the Reservation.  You will know you met someone special when you meet them. So please, come on out and meet them and learn more about who you are helping, get some history and enjoy a night with your Friends First Friends.

YOU can make a difference with your donations!

As many of you know, I practice the American Indian Lakota (Sioux) faith.  I am actually of the Cherokee Tribe but I practice the Lakota faith. (great grandmother was full blooded Cherokee and I actually knew her!)  What you don't know is that life on a reservation, in these modern times, is unbelievably hard.

Also, what you don't know, is that there is a Nation within a Nation!  Yes, the laws that govern our nation and the laws that CONTROL and govern the American Indians are very different.  It is because of some of those old laws,  that they create the unbelievable poverty that exists in the  Pine Ridge Area Indian Reservations.

I saw this with my own eyes back in the early part of the summer when I visited.  It broke my heart.  I met people that were so poor that it made me cry!  I saw children that were so poor that it made my heart hurt!  I saw animals infested with lice and fleas...dogs and cats that were starving. YES! IN THIS COUNTRY!

What is so sad, that like me, no one knows about this!  I was totally unaware that our native americans were faced with such conditions! When I found out that my own "family" lived in such poverty and deprivation, I was ashamed that I did not know this!

http://home.comcast.net/~zebrec/SA_Social_Assistance.htm

Poverty is rampant!  Children and the old suffer the most.  There are deaths every year simply because a family or an old person can't afford propane for their heating and cooking. Natural gas is not available on the reservation and individuals have to pay for propane. Life on the reservation is unbearably hard!  The weather is quite harsh and people actually freeze to death each year.

http://home.comcast.net/~zebrec/D_Heating_Assistance.htm

http://home.comcast.net/~zebrec/D_Heating_Assist_Donation_Form.htm

Having warm coats is also a HUGE issue every year. Children grow and coats wear out. They are in dire need of warm coats!  Adults need coats also!

So I ask this of you....I know that many of you want to give to those that truly need our help....

Do you have a warm coat for donation that is in good shape that is not being used?

Do you have warm hats, scarves, gloves that are usable?  Donate them!

If you don't have those items but you would like to help in some way, you can write a check to the Propane Fund run by Ed, "Man Afraid of His Horses"  and donate to the propane fund.  To read about and find the form to help in heating, click on the links below.

http://home.comcast.net/~zebrec/D_Heating_Assistance.htm

http://home.comcast.net/~zebrec/D_Heating_Assist_Donation_Form.htm

 

So friends, it is with a heart that I ask you to help in any way or denomination that you can.

We will be accepting YOUR donations at Moretti's and then we will all sit down for a family pizza night!  Everyone will donate $$$ to cover the pizzas and we will all sit down to share a meal together.  We will be collecting anything that is winter warm...coats, gloves, scarves, hats, blankets....anything that you think will keep a man, woman or child warm this winter.

We will have someone at the front door that will be collecting the goods and putting them in a trailer.

Below is the letter that came from our medicine man asking our family to help.  Yes, we are all family.  No matter what nationality, color, religion...we are all family.

Below is a portion of the  letter that I  received:

Ed (Indian name Young Man Afraid of His Horses) and I  talked about the upcoming Xmas toy winter coat and food drive. He was very excited to have us continue to help out his community. A wopila (thank you in Lakota) to everyone who has shared their time and efforts. The LNI tournament is Wednesday December 19-23rd. Driving out the weekend of the 22nd won't work for obvious reasons with Christmas on Tuesday. So Ed and I talked about delivering the goods the weekend of the 14th. We never know how much we are going to get and should have at least 1 truck possibly 2. Anyone wishing to help drive out would be really helpful. Also, anyone wishing to drive out in their cars and help deliver goods and toys to families in outlying areas would be great. We always receive such blessings in going out. It honestly has had more meaning than Christmas  here in Chicago. The spirit of giving is so beautiful and so many of you contribute. It would be great if you could come out and receive some of that joy and experience first hand what your efforts have done to help out the people there.
Also anyone wishing to outreach to organizations, their churches, schools etc would be helpful. We will start our efforts earlier instead of 2 weeks before. I will organize a meeting soon for those interested. I have already contacted Ann at St. Thomas Church and they are on board to help again. Father Joel has retired but the new Pastor seems pretty aligned with his philosophy of outreach. Also have contacted North Shore elementary school and they will put together some sort of assistance. I'm going to start shaking the trees a bit and try and get more involvement this year. Any help on your end would be great.
Thanks for all your help over the years.
Peace and Blessings, Tom (Our Spiritual Leader and the Leader of our Lodge here in the Chicago Area)

If any of you would like to be part of this trek and participate, I am sure that it would fill your heart and soul with something wonderful.

In giving, to those that truly need it, in return YOU receive rewards within that stay with you for a very long time.

I plan to go to South Dakota to help with this event!  Join me! Let's put a car/trailer together and go do something good! Thanks, Fena [masked]

To learn more about the Lakota, please click on the link below.

http://www.indians.org/articles/lakota-indians.html

Thanks,

Fena D'Ottavio

[masked]

 

 

 

 

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  • Brian R.

    I have 2 winter coats for you

    November 29, 2012

  • Brian R.

    I have some donations for you, when/where would you like them?

    November 10, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was great to meet Tom and talk to some new friends. I was happy to help in what little way I could.

    November 10, 2012

  • Jim

    It was great to reach out to those in need. Thanks Fena.

    November 10, 2012

  • Alice K

    Nice evening spent for a good cause. Very enlightening to know how others have to live. Thank you for organzing,

    November 10, 2012

  • Penny

    Fena always does a wonderful job. This was a great cause driven by someone with a great heart.

    November 10, 2012

  • Fena

    The outpouring of donations brings tears to my eyes. I am totally amazed at how many bags of warm clothing and toys arrived tonight. The group that gathered were all so friendly and it was great to sit down to dinner and share a conversation with our members. A very special thank you to each of you for your kind and generous donations. Two members, Mick and Al, each donated a $50 gas card (total $100) to help with gas cost in getting the goods out to the Reservation.
    My heart is so warm and full of from your generosity. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    November 9, 2012

  • Cindy A.

    Really nice people, great cause.

    November 9, 2012

  • Penny

    Women's winter coat (M)/Girls sz 4 winter coat
    Some quilted jackets
    Sweaters/vests/sweat pants (women's)
    Gloves and hats

    November 8, 2012

    • Fena

      Thanks!! All of this is so welcome! Your donation will make a difference. Everything is appreciated. I thank you all for everything that you are doing!

      November 8, 2012

    • Penny

      Just listing, as you suggested, so they have an idea. Also have a large garbage bag full of boys clothing size 3months to 2T - majority are winter items. Thanks to you for bringing this to our attention!

      November 9, 2012

  • Fena

    Hi Friends, I can't thank you all enough for what you are doing. Tonight, you are going to meet members of the Lakota Nation. Tom, Dan and Frank will be there to share information and to introduce you to how life is on the reservation. It is a beautiful picture as far as spirituality but not such a pretty picture in the poverty and how difficult life truly is. Hopefully with out our help we can make this season of winter a warmer one. Hopefully we can all throw in a few dollars to help with the heating fund. I will have a bucket and anything you can give to help fund the propane fund to keep a family warm will help. I think our group has such a big heart and we can make a HUGE difference in the life of someone we don't know. Thanks to all of you and we look forward to seeing all of you tonight. Fena and Carroll
    [masked]

    November 9, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Fena,
    I will definitely be dropping some bagged items off during timeframe at Moretti's and will hopefully be able to spend some time there. Such a great cause.

    November 7, 2012

    • Fena

      Hi Chris...so great to meet you on Sunday! I look forward to seeing you again Friday! Thanks for your donation!

      November 8, 2012

  • Brian R.

    What date do you need the donations by? I may have a couple of coats

    November 6, 2012

  • Fena

    The leaders of our local Lakota tribe will be joining us! Tom is going to sing a couple of tribal songs and share with you the plight of those on the reservation. Dan sent me an e-mail this morning confirming that they would be with us that night! So make sure that you don't miss this event.

    November 1, 2012

    • Fena

      Yes, any warm clothing....jeans, slacks, all sizes...anything warm works. Layering is good. Thanks Mick!!!

      November 1, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Excellent. I may have to rent a truck but it will get there.

      November 1, 2012

  • Brian R.

    I likely will not be at Moretti's on November 9, and if I have any donations or items for you I'll drop them off sometime before that date

    October 30, 2012

  • Bob Oehmen - Sunrise S.

    I will post a request for donations on my facebook page. Then I can bring more stuff.

    I'd like to join you, if things work out that I have the time off.

    October 30, 2012

  • Bob Oehmen - Sunrise S.

    Fena,
    I know what you are talking about. I've been following the Red Road for many years. Perhaps you know Joseph "Many Horses" Davis. He ran ceremonies up at the Prairie Club for many years, before moving to Maine, back in '06.

    I'll bring some donations.

    October 30, 2012

  • Eilene

    Fena;
    Have been involved with and devoted to, Native American culture et al for years...and friend of mine Kris, is full-blooded Lakota as well as other friends who are in part Native American....and now you!!! Would love to help as much as possible....for many reasons...so let me know how I can be of assistance please.

    1 · October 14, 2012

  • Fena

    I know Brian, we have so much! When I saw how people had so little and their diets are so poor and everything is so expensive, my heart ached! It reminds me much of when I was younger in Mississippi when things were much poorer than they are now.

    October 14, 2012

  • Brian R.

    Thanks, Fena, for organizing an event like this. It makes you feel better knowing that you helped out someone a little less fortunate. Believe me, living here in the Chicago area, we have no idea. I've traveled and seen/experienced the poorest parts of this world. We don't know how much we have here

    October 13, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Fena, I will reach out to my church family who are so giving. I also want to hear more about the trip out in Dec.

    October 13, 2012

  • Cindi

    Wow. So sad. I will try to find something.

    October 13, 2012

  • Fena

    because they are going to be packed into a trailer, it would be best to bag items. I will be packing the trailer and hopefully it will be FULL!!! Coats, Gloves, hats, scarves, blankets, CHRISTMAS TOYS will all go into the trailer. Anyone want to make the road trip with me?? I will be gone only a few days...I will have the info shortly.

    October 13, 2012

  • Fena

    TRUE! If you can't make the event, please bring your donations to any of our events or pass them on for your friends to bring. We will get them into the trailer.

    October 13, 2012

    • Cindy A.

      Fena, Would it be helpful to have coats on hangers, or in bags....?

      October 13, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you for leading this effort- caring about and caring for our Native American brothers and sisters is certainly a worthy cause. I will bring winter clothing donations either to Moretti's or if I have a conflict on that date, I will get them to Fena somehow. Bless everyone who helps with this!!!

    October 13, 2012

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