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Monthly Archives: October 2015

Enter for a Chance to Win Our Holiday Star Quilt Raffle!

To celebrate the spirit of the season, and continue to raise much-needed funds for its annual Christmas Toy Drive efforts, CRYP is once again hosting a Holiday Star Quilt Raffle. Tickets are on sale until Thursday, December 24, and on Saturday, December 26, CRYP staff will announce the lucky winner who will be receiving a handmade, queen-size Lakota star quilt.

This year’s quilt is titled “Winter Watercolors.” Bonnie LeBeau, a Cheyenne River Sioux tribal member, hand-crafted the art-inspired quilt for the holiday raffle.

“We love the theme of this quilt because it resonates on more than one level,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “Here, at The Main youth center and the Cokata Wiconi (“Center of Life”) teen center, our kids are always involved in artwork. One of the most popular mediums, particularly with the little kids, is watercolor. When I look at this quilt, I see a celebration of winter color and holiday festivity; I also see a celebration of our children, their creativity, and the healing power of art.”

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October Hall of Fame: Xzanndria Norris

Xzanndria Norris, 14, has been participating in programs and activities at CRYP since she was a little girl. She says she loves how CRYP provides two centers that are geared toward young people, The Main youth center for 4- to 12-year-olds and the Cokata Wiconi (“Center of Life”) teen center, and she definitely has some favorite programs.

“The new art internship program and Midnight Basketball are two of my favorite programs,” Xzanndria says. “Both have allowed me to gain experience and become better.”

The teen also acknowledges the important role CRYP staff members have played through the years.

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October Partner of the Month: SWAMP-IN

This month, we’re going to do something a little differently. One of the leaders of our featured Partner of the Month, SWAMP-IN (Saints with a Mission Purpose — Indian Nations), will be sharing her group’s CRYP story. We’re honored to introduce our longtime friend and supporter Debra Wills, and to express our heartfelt gratitude for her St. Louis-based group’s many years of dedicated service with our not-for-profit, grassroots youth project.

“Looking back over the last 13 years, since SWAMP-IN was formed, I can come up with many reasons why my family was first drawn to the Cheyenne River Youth Project and the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation,” Wills says. “I don’t believe in coincidence. God always has a purpose beyond what I can see.

“In 2002, my husband Mike and I were teaching our sons about American History from an indigenous point of view. While reading the local paper, I saw an ad to adopt ‘Dear Santa’ letters from a reservation in South Dakota. We took three letters from children who were the same ages as our sons. The gifts were to come from them, not Mike or me; each letter was fulfilled, and that should have been the end of the story. Little did I know it would be just the beginning.

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    #LyftCheyenneRiver: CRYP Prepares to Welcome Lyft Drivers This December

#LyftCheyenneRiver: CRYP Prepares to Welcome Lyft Drivers This December

Each year, volunteers from around the country, and around the world, converge on the Cheyenne River Youth Project® campus in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, to support the annual Christmas Toy Drive. Each year, CRYP seeks to bring Christmas joy and magic to 1,500 children in 20 communities on the remote, 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.

This year, the volunteer corps will be larger than usual, thanks to Lyft, a San Francisco-based company whose culture celebrates altruism, community and family.

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Winyan Toka Win Garden Continues to Grow

This month, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® is closing out another successful growing season in its 2-acre, naturally grown Winyan Toka Win (“Leading Lady”) garden. Despite a few challenges, the garden is continuing to thrive and expand, thanks to a South Dakota Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant, a Native Agriculture and Food Systems grant, additional garden grants from Honor the Earth, Running Strong for American Indian Youth, the Wellmark Foundation and the J.R. Albert Foundation, and generous contributions from a variety of individual supporters.

In 2015, CRYP harvested thousands of pounds of crops that staff members can incorporate into daily youth meals and snacks, regular and specialty menu items in the Keya Cafe & Coffeehouse, and dried and canned food items for sale through the Keya Gift Shop. The 27-year-old youth project also has been able to hold its weekly Leading Lady Farmers Market throughout the summer and fall seasons, and it recently hosted more than 60 community members at its annual Harvest Festival dinner.

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    The 2015 Christmas Toy Drive is Now On: Support CRYP by Becoming a Donor or Volunteer

The 2015 Christmas Toy Drive is Now On: Support CRYP by Becoming a Donor or Volunteer

It’s not yet Halloween, and multihued leaves still cling to the branches, but for the staff and volunteers at the Cheyenne River Youth Project®, the holidays are right around the corner. Already, the hard-working team at the 27-year-old, not-for-profit youth organization are gearing up for their largest program of the year: the annual Christmas Toy Drive, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

In 2014, CRYP made sure that 1,350 children in 20 communities across South Dakota’s remote 2.8-million-acre reservation received personalized gifts. This year, it hopes to serve 1,500 with the help of donors, volunteers and other supporters.

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2015 Christmas Toy Drive: How to Help

There are several ways to help CRYP reach its goal of serving 1,500 children during the 2015 Christmas Toy Drive:

Make a tax-deductible donation by sending cash, a check or a money order to: The Cheyenne River Youth Project, P.O. Box 410, Eagle Butte, SD 57625.

Make a tax-deductible donation via PayPal here on the CRYP Web site (simply click “Help CRYP” in the navigation bar above).

Donate a gift. To request a specific “Dear Santa” letter and to see the most-requested-gift list, contact Julie Garreau, executive director, at (605) 964-8200 or via e-mail at julie.cryp@gmail.com.

Donate gift cards, gift bags, wrapping paper, tissue paper, tape or anything else that might assist in toy-drive preparations.

Consider donating a Santa suit! We’d also love clothes for Mrs. Claus and the elves.

Spread the word. If you have friends or family members who might like to make a donation, please let them know how they can help.

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