605-964-8200|lakotayouth@gmail.com

Christmas Toy Drive

  • IMG_5509
    Permalink Gallery

    Together, We Brought Santa Claus to More Than 1,300 Children

Together, We Brought Santa Claus to More Than 1,300 Children

It takes more than a Christmas blizzard to stop the Cheyenne River Youth Project®. Despite subzero temperatures, howling winter winds and mountainous snow drifts, the nonprofit youth organization still managed to bring Santa Claus to more than 1,300 excited children across South Dakota’s Cheyenne River Lakota reservation this year.

As always, volunteers from around the country and Europe converged on CRYP’s Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center, which had been transformed into a 24-7 Santa’s Workshop for the month of December. These dedicated helpers worked around the clock to sort and wrap thousands of gifts arriving from every corner of the United States.

These gifts came from long-standing partners like the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation and Running Strong for American Indian Youth, both based in Virginia; the Spirit of Sovereignty Foundation in Minnesota; the St. Louis Chapter of CRYP in Missouri; and Fairview High School, student groups at CU-Boulder, Fredericks Peebles & Morgan law firm, the American Indian College Fund and Lennar Construction, all in Colorado. But they also came from generous individuals whose contributions arrived in many forms.

Read More
  • Toy Drive 9
    Permalink Gallery

    It’s Not Too Late: Help CRYP Fulfill Remaining 400+ Dear Santa Letters Before Christmas!

It’s Not Too Late: Help CRYP Fulfill Remaining 400+ Dear Santa Letters Before Christmas!

CRYP is reaching out to its supporters and friends this week in a final push to bring Santa Claus to more than 1,600 children on South Dakota’s remote, 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River Lakota reservation. According to Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director, more than 400 “Dear Santa” letters remain to be adopted—with just five days left until Christmas.

Already, volunteers from across the United States and as far away as Ireland are converging on Santa’s Workshop at CRYP to sort and wrap thousands of gifts. These dedicated helpers work around the clock to ensure that each child will receive two or three gifts from his or her personal letter, as well as much-needed winter clothing and shoes.

The good news is that it’s not too late to help.

“At this point in December, there’s no question that donations are down over previous years,” Garreau said. “That being said, we know from experience that incredible things can happen in the last few days before the holiday.

“Supporters absolutely can contact us to adopt letters, if they would like to fulfill the children’s Christmas wishes and send the gifts to our campus in Eagle Butte,” she continued. “If it’s easier, however, simply click the ‘Donate’ button on our website and make an online contribution. It’s fully tax deductible, and we’ll do the shopping on our end to make sure all the children who wrote letters to Santa have the happy, joyful Christmas they so richly deserve.”

Read More
  • Donald Driver Foundation Meal 4
    Permalink Gallery

    January Partners of the Month: Our 2015 Christmas Toy Drive Champions

January Partners of the Month: Our 2015 Christmas Toy Drive Champions

This month, we’d like to express our deepest gratitude to a very special group of CRYP supporters: the champions of the 2015 Christmas Toy Drive. With their help, we smashed our goal of serving 1,500 children. This past December, CRYP and its partners brought Santa Claus to more than 1,600 children across the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.

Please read on, and click on the individual links to learn more about these worthy organizations, each of which has demonstrated the true meaning of Christmas with its generosity, friendship, and love.

Read More
  • Santa Thank-You Letter
    Permalink Gallery

    PLEASE HELP: 300+ “Dear Santa” Letters Remain to be Adopted

PLEASE HELP: 300+ “Dear Santa” Letters Remain to be Adopted

Christmas is a little more than two weeks away, which means the clock is winding down for Cheyenne River Youth Project® staff and volunteers as they prepare to bring Santa Claus to 1,500 children across South Dakota’s remote, 2.8-million-acre reservation. More than 300 “Dear Santa” letters remain to be adopted — but it’s not too late to help.

“All you need to do is contact us for a ‘Dear Santa’ letter, which will contain a child’s wish list for Santa and his or her shoe and clothing sizes,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “Or, if you would prefer to contribute funds, you can donate through our website at lakotayouth.org. We’ll do the shopping on our end, ensuring that every child who wrote to Santa will have something special underneath the tree this year.

“Donated funds also will help us feed and house the many volunteers from around the world who come to support us during the Christmas Toy Drive,” she continued. “We couldn’t do it without their help, so we are grateful for any financial support we can get.”

Read More
  • Christmas Toy Drive 2
    Permalink Gallery

    It’s #GivingTuesday: Support Our Christmas Toy Drive Today!

It’s #GivingTuesday: Support Our Christmas Toy Drive Today!

Today is December 1, and that means just five days until Chanukah, 24 days until the Christmas holiday, and 30 days until the end of the year. This particular Tuesday also is #GivingTuesday.

Today, individuals, students, families, businesses, community organizations and charities around the world will come together for one common purpose: to to give back. It’s a global celebration – and a new tradition of kindness, generosity and good will toward others.

Today, consider supporting the Cheyenne River Youth Project®, which has just three weeks left to fulfill the Christmas wishes of 1,500 children on South Dakota’s remote, 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River reservation. More than 1,000 letters in the 2015 Christmas Toy Drive have already been adopted by generous supporters, yet more than 400 “Dear Santa” letters still need sponsors.

Read More
  • Nutcracker Party 2
    Permalink Gallery

    CRYP Prepares for Annual Holiday Parties, Seeks Donors for 400+ “Dear Santa” Letters

CRYP Prepares for Annual Holiday Parties, Seeks Donors for 400+ “Dear Santa” Letters

The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us, which means the Cheyenne River Youth Project® has just one month left to fulfill the Christmas wishes of 1,500 children on South Dakota’s remote, 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. More than 1,000 letters have already been adopted by generous supporters, yet more remains to be done.

“We still have more than 400 ‘Dear Santa’ letters that need to be adopted,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “That means we still need to take care of 400 children who wrote heartfelt letters in the hope that Santa Claus would bring a little extra happiness and magic to their homes this Christmas.

“Supporters who wish to join our Christmas Toy Drive efforts can contact us directly to get their Santa letters,” she continued. “Or, if they would prefer to contribute funds, they can donate via our website. We’re happy to do the shopping on our end to make sure Santa comes to these deserving kids.”

Christmas is a big deal on the CRYP calendar. This year’s toy drive geared up in late summer, and in just a matter of days, it will become an around-the-clock race as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day grow ever nearer. But first, CRYP will host its eagerly anticipated, annual holiday parties for the 4- to 12-year-olds at The Main youth center and the teenagers at the Cokata Wiconi (“Center of Life”) teen center.

Read More

Coming Soon: CRYP’s First-Ever “Festival of Trees!”

Less than eight weeks remain before the Christmas holiday, and staff and volunteers at the Cheyenne River Youth Project® are immersed in preparations. Not only are they hard at work on the 2015 Christmas Toy Drive, which seeks to bring holiday joy to 1,500 children across the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, they’re hosting CRYP’s annual Star Quilt Raffle, and they’re preparing to unveil a very special new addition to the holiday season: the CRYP Festival of Trees.

Area businesses and organizations are invited to each decorate at tree at the Cokata Wiconi (“Center of Life”) teen center. Participating groups must register by November 13, and they may decorate their trees on November 18, 19 and 20. The trees will make their public debut on November 21 during the Holiday Artists’ Market.

“We’ll be providing the trees, but the participating groups will bring their own lights and decorations and decorate those trees however they see fit,” said Tammy Eagle Hunter, CRYP’s youth programs director. “It’s an opportunity for each organization to unleash its creativity, which is always fun, but it’s also a beautiful opportunity to demonstrate fellowship and good cheer as we go into this holiday season.”

Read More

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.”

Read More
  • #LyftCheyenneRiver4
    Permalink Gallery

    #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.

Read More
  • Santa Thank-You Letter
    Permalink Gallery

    2014 Christmas Toy Drive Serves 1,350 Children in 20 Communities

2014 Christmas Toy Drive Serves 1,350 Children in 20 Communities

In partnership with a broad range of individuals, schools, businesses and nonprofit organizations, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® was once again able to bring Santa Claus to South Dakota’s 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation during the 2014 holiday season. (Check out our video here!)

Thanks to the overwhelming support of these invaluable partners, not to mention the hard work and dedication of a small army of volunteers, CRYP’s 2014 Christmas Toy Drive served 1,350 children in 20 communities. Their “Dear Santa” letters came from 325 families, regular attendees at CRYP’s Cokata Wiconi teen center and The Main youth center, and children who live in local shelters and foster care.

Read More