Monthly Archives: February 2008

Soaring energy costs create urgent need for CRYP

This winter has been a hard one for the country’s midsection, particularly the northern Great Plains. Fierce blasts of arctic air have kept the mercury low in the thermometers and sent energy bills soaring. For nonprofit organizations like ours, Mother Nature has guaranteed that the normally challenging task of making ends will be all but impossible.

“During a cold winter, our budget is severely strained by the cost of utilities, especially with the price of oil these days,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “As with all nonprofits, literally every penny in our yearly budget is spoken for, so when our bills increase unexpectedly, we face a financial crisis.

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Urgent support needed to cover soaring energy costs

Winter is always a difficult season on South Dakota’s Cheyenne River reservation, and this year has been especially hard.

Frigid arctic air invaded early, descending on the Upper Midwest and Great Plains in October, and since then, it has kept the mercury low and sent energy bills soaring.

As a result, countless families have been unable to pay their bills. Many also struggle to make sure that their children have good-quality warm clothing that will last them until spring and perhaps even into next season.

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Recruiting challenge: Win a free trip to the CRYP reunion

We know it’s not easy to get to Cheyenne River, so we’ve decided to combine two things that are important to all of us: volunteer recruitment, and getting people out for our 20th reunion.

We’ve created a flyer that can help you recruit volunteers for us. Please post it in your universities or anywhere else you can think of.

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Cokata Wiconi Teen Center gears up for College Night

While most of the country remains firmly in the grip of winter, spring is right around the corner for the Cheyenne River Youth Project. Staff and long-term volunteers were busy preparing to welcome “Alternative Spring Break” volunteer groups from Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and from Rice University in Houston, Texas, on Saturday, March 2.

The youth project has enlisted the volunteer support of ASB programs for years, hosting each student group for a week. The volunteers provide much-needed assistance, from facilities maintenance and improvements and preparing the 2½-acre Winyan Toka Win garden for the growing season to fundraising activities and staffing CRYP’s Cokata Wiconi Teen Center and The Main Youth Center. In return for their valuable service, the students have opportunities to experience Lakota culture through youth center activities, lunches at the
Cheyenne River Elderly Nutrition Center, guest speakers and other events.

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Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community makes donations to toy drive, teen center

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota has made three significant contributions to the Cheyenne River Youth Project.

Shakopee donated $2,000 to the 2007 Christmas Toy Drive, 28 spinning bicycles for the fitness room in the Cokata Wiconi teen center and furnishings for the teen center’s library.

According to CRYP executive director Julie Garreau, Shakopee has been a consistent supporter of the youth project’s ongoing mission in the Cheyenne River community.

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Exxon Mobil donates exercise equipment

Teenagers living on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation soon will have their own dedicated fitness facility, thanks in part to a generous donation from Exxon Mobil Corp.

The world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas company has donated 11 pieces of exercise equipment, an air compressor and accessories to Christian Relief Services Charities in Alexandria, Virginia, for its Eagle Butte, South Dakota-based affiliate, the Cheyenne River Youth Project. CRSC took delivery of the Exxon Mobil donation on December 3 and shipped the equipment to CRYP’s Cokata Wiconi teen center on December 11.

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Cokata Wiconi Teen Center gets a History Wall

Work has begun on the History Wall in the Cokata Wiconi teen center. CRYP selected the northern wall of the teen center’s main corridor for this major undertaking, which will run chronologically from the wall’s eastern end to its western end near reception.

Cokata Wiconi, which was formally dedicated on August 14, 2006, and opened in 2007, is the result of a four-year capital campaign by CRYP and Running Strong for American Indian Youth, throughout which the Cheyenne River community worked steadfastly to support by any means possible. Even today, local businesses and community leaders continue to provide in-kind and financial contributions to the 26,000-square-foot-plus center; and to volunteer their time and efforts to raise awareness and advocacy for the youth project.

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