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Winter Coat and Toy Drive for my extended family on the Pine Ridge Indian Res.

  • Hi Friends,

    I received a letter from one of our friends that support the Lakota and he and our spiritual leader are going to try to attend our function at Morettis. 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!

    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.

    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.

    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.


    Fena D'Ottavio


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  • A former member
    A former member

    Is this event ON ? where are all the enthused interested parties with winter coats to pass along?

    November 8, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Ellen, This event is on and there are 29 attending from Friends First North West Group. You won't be alone! go to www.FriendsFirstSocialGr­ and click on GROUPS and select the Northwest Group and you will see the RSVP list that is attending. We should have around 35 attending!

      November 9, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Could not attend. Had to work an evening shift. Have a nice full length leather woman's coat to donate.

      November 9, 2012

3 went

  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member

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