A group of 37 people from Project:Re3 will be traveling to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. As many of you know, we are involved in continued support of this reservation. We sponsored 32 children this December by providing Christmas gifts (clothing, toys, and other necessities) along with the purchase of fuel for the winter. We have also participated in a blanket drive as blankets and quilts are needed for the harsh winters. This August, a group plans to travel to the reservation to meet many of the Lakota Indians that live there and to help with home repairs.
The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is an Oglala Lakota Native American reservation located in South Dakota. This reservation is the eighth largest reservation in the United States, and according to my research, Pine Ridge is the poorest reservation in the US. The residents of Pine Ridge suffer health conditions commonly found in third world countries, including high mortality rates, depression, alcoholism, drug abuse, malnutrition, and diabetes. Access to healthcare on the reservation is limited and insufficient. Unemployment on the reservation hovers between 80 and 85%, and 49% of the population lives below the federal poverty level. Many of the families have no electricity, telephone, running water or sewage systems. Additionally, the natural habitat is harsh. In the winter, the average low temperature is 8 degrees. By contrast, the average high temperature in the summer is 88 degrees. The reservation is also isolated. The nearest urban center is Rapid City, South Dakota, which is 120 miles from the center of the reservation.
A member of our church community is Lakota and has a number of contacts on the reservation. Through partnership with these contacts, we have identified a number of homes in a neighborhood that are in need of basic home repairs (for example, patching holes in roofs, painting, building wheelchair ramps, etc.). Because the Reservation is very isolated, we must raise money not only for our travel, but also to fund materials and supplies for the house repairs, and to rent a vehicle to transport the tools and supplies such as lumber and paint.
If you are interested in helping with our efforts, please feel free to contact Project:Re3. As you can imagine, we need prayers, supplies, and financial support. If you are willing to make a tax deductible donation to our effort, you can make checks payable to ProjectRe3.