300 Children Benefit from Cheyenne River School Supply Drive
More than 300 children have attended the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s school supply distribution at the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) Teen Center this month, and many more are expected.
CRYP still has plenty of school supplies in stock to distribute them throughout the month of August.
“Each year, we provide much-needed school supplies to hundreds of children,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director, in a press release. “We were thrilled that so many families were able to attend our actual distribution day on August 8, and we look forward to welcoming many more children who still need school supplies prior to the start of the new school year.”
Families on the remote 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River Lakota Reservation in South Dakota depend on the supply drive. Many simply don’t have room in their budgets to purchase the items their children need to be successful—and to experience the excitement and anticipation that first day of school brings.
“Being a single parent of two girls, it can be a struggle,” commented one community member who attended the distribution August 8. “I greatly appreciate (this).”
“I really appreciate all that was given to me and my family,” said Jahida Two Crow, and fellow parent Mary Crown echoed the sentiment.
“I am thankful for the school supplies,” she said, “and for the Family Services program.”
CRYP created its Family Services Program in 2002 to manage the increasing amount of donated supplies the youth project provides to local families. To participate, local families just pay an annual membership fee of $30, which covers the entire family for a full year.
“For just $30, a Cheyenne River family can participate in all of our Family Services distributions,” Garreau explained. “Not only does that include school supplies, it incorporates shoes and winter clothing drives and our massive, long-running Christmas Toy Drive.”
Families can also pick up household supplies and baby items when they need them as well.
“Family Services makes life just a little bit less of a struggle for families, which in turn makes life a bit easier for our children,” Garreau said. “Kids here have to grow up way too fast, and when we can help meet their families’ needs, we give them more space to just be children. They rely on us to be there, to support them in every way we can.”
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