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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Charging into 2013 with a strategic plan, new development director and more

This year, we’ll celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Cheyenne River Youth Project. The quarter-century mark is not only a celebration of what a community can do for itself, but also major milestone on the way to an even brighter future.

“It’s not common for a community-based not-for-profit to last this long, and to be serving its second generation of children,” said Julie Garreau, our executive director. “It doesn’t happen often in Indian Country, but it happened here, and we want to make sure we remain a stable, positive presence for the generations of children to come. So we’re taking some big steps.”

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Family Services aims to reach more homes on the reservation

Although we’re perhaps best known for the Cokata Wiconi teen center and The Main youth center, the scope of our focus extends beyond the teens and young children who flood through our doors on a daily basis. Since 2002, we’ve also has offered an extensive Family Services program for community members.

For a $30 membership fee, which covers an entire family for one year, Family Services provides much-needed household supplies, including baby items; assistance with home improvements; heat-match funds for winter propane; and access to large distributions throughout the year, which include school supplies, winter clothing, shoes and the long-running Christmas Toy Drive. Family Services memberships are available to anyone who lives on the 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River reservation, not just those who live in the city of Eagle Butte.

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It’s raffle time: Lakota star quilt up for grabs

Those seeking a truly one-of-a-kind gift for loved ones have a unique opportunity this winter. We recently launched our 2013 Winter Star Quilt Raffle, giving members of the public a chance to win the distinctive, queen-size “Winter on the Plains” Lakota star quilt.

The blue, brown and turquoise quilt is hand-crafted by Bonnie LeBeau, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Tickets are already on sale and may be purchased until March 14. CRYP will conduct the drawing and announce the winner on March 15; the organization will then ship the quilt to the winner free of charge. All proceeds will benefit the youth project.

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Passion for Fashion prep under way, event set for March 9

For most people, when they think of their teenage years, the memories are filled with excitement, laughter and carefree fun. For many teens on our remote reservation, however, that fun and frivolity is in short supply. Young people have to grow up fast on Cheyenne River, where unemployment hovers around 75 percent. There’s little money for basic household needs, much less for dresses, shoes and accessories for the prom.

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Christmas toy drive serves 1,200 children, 20 communities

We were once again able to bring hope, joy and more than a little magic to the children on the Cheyenne River reservation during the 2012 holiday season.

Thanks to the steadfast, generous support of these invaluable partners, not to mention the hard work and dedication of a small army of volunteers, CRYP’s 2012 Christmas Toy Drive served 1,200 children in 20 communities. Their “Dear Santa” letters came from 275 families, regular attendees at the Cokata Wiconi teen center and The Main youth center, and children who live in shelters and foster care.

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Reflections on 2012: A year of growth, learning and memories

With the new year just a week old, our staff and long-term volunteers are already busy with January programming, filling the weekly schedules at the Cokata Wiconi teen center and The Main youth center with exciting, fun and educational activities for the young people flooding through the doors after the long holiday break. But we’re also taking the time to reflect on the many accomplishments of 2012.

“With such a small staff, it’s easy to get swept up in our to-do lists as soon as the New Year’s holiday is behind us,” Garreau explained. “But we need to take a short break to talk about the last 12 months and highlight our successes. It’s a great exercise for team morale, and it gives us a solid set of benchmarks for the year to come.”

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