Monthly Archives: September 2011

“Keep the Lights on” Fund Drive Launches for Youth Centers’ Operations and Maintenance

Contributions May Be Earmarked for Particular Minifunds or for New “Sponsor
A Day” Program

These days, the national news is filled with talk of a double-dip recession, but to those who operate not-for-profit organizations around the country, the Great Recession that officially began in December 2007 has never really ended. Those who serve the less fortunate have had to make do with fewer resources, even as their communities’ needs have grown.

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® in Eagle Butte has experienced this trend first-hand. Donations are down, and after years of making substantial cuts to operations, programming and staffing, the 23-year-old youth project has decided that the time has come for a major fundraiser.

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This October, Support CRYP’s Annual “Winter Coats Drive,” which Helps Hundreds Each Year

CRYP Asks Supporters to Send Contributions by October 10, Encourages Cheyenne River Families to Sign Up for Family Services Membership Right Away

In north-central South Dakota, tales of true prairie winters are legendary: blizzards with gale-force winds that lash remote communities for days on end, ice storms that topple electrical poles for miles in every direction, mind-boggling snowdrifts that have homeowners digging out their front doors or crawling out second-story windows.

Each winter may not be quite that tempestuous, but it does guarantee one thing. It will be cold, and it will be cold for weeks and months on end. And in a place like the Cheyenne River reservation, that means families who can’t afford well-made, warm winter clothing are going to experience hardship.

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New Fine-Art Coffee-table Book to Showcase Cheyenne River Reservation and Writing from Local Teens

Project Incorporates Cheyenne River Youth Project® Writing Group and New Website

Although many photographers and writers have documented native reservations over the years, the picture they paint of Indian Country tends to be a negative one, focusing primarily on the poverty and social ills that afflict reservation communities. This month, however, a creative team from Colorado and Wisconsin has embarked on a project that takes a different approach.

Richard and Heather Steinberger, a photographer-writer team from Bailey, Colorado, has joined forces with accomplished Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin-based photographer Matt Normann to develop a coffeetable book that will showcase the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in north-central South Dakota. The book will celebrate Cheyenne River’s landscapes, its flora and fauna, its communities, its traditions and its people.

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Power of Four Teens Have an Action-Packed September

Special Activities Include Community Beautification, Tribal Council, Blogging, Financial Literacy and Cafe Operations

September is a busy month for the teenagers who participate in the Cheyenne River Youth Project®’s “Power of Four” program in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Not only are the teen interns now meeting twice a week and taking part in regular job rotations at CRYP’s Cokata Wiconi Teen Center, they’re participating in special activities in each of the Power of Four modules — leadership, life skills, job skills and wellness.

For the leadership module, the teen interns are continuing their ongoing community beautification project: painting trash cans around the city of Eagle Butte, adorning them with colorful, unique designs. Then, for the life skills module, the interns attended a Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Council on September 1-5.

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Expanded Wellness Programming Continues into Fall Months

Summer 2011 was a big one for the Cheyenne River Youth Project® in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. The past three months saw an explosion in wellness programming at the 23-year-old, not-for-profit youth organization’s Cokata Wiconi Teen Center, and as summer slips toward fall, the momentum shows no sign of stopping. “We had a great summer,” acknowledged Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “We’ve always tried to get kids moving, and Midnight Basketball is one of our longest-running and most popular summer programs, but we knew we needed to offer more diverse activities. Now, with our wellness department in full swing, it doesn’t matter if a child isn’t interested in basketball — he or she has a full range of sports from which to choose.”

One highlight of this season was a formal ballet class for the younger children, conducted by long-term volunteer Elizabeth “Lily” Kroll, a long-term volunteer from Michigan. Kroll raised all the funds and supplies necessary for the class.

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