We're their last line of defense
Moments before their house was damaged from Running Strong 4AIY on Vimeo.
At Running Strong for American Indian Youth® we can’t stop thinking about those thousands of Oglala Lakota families on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota where the predicted low temperatures for this month are already in the teens – and that’s not counting the wind chill factor.
Our hearts are particularly going out to the hundreds of families whose homes were damaged by hail storms this summer which shattered windows, stripped protective siding off the exteriors and damaged roofs.
Many of these families – even with winter already arriving – have plywood boards covering the frames where the windows used to be, or worse, plastic sheeting.
And without siding on these already humble homes, and with little insulation, the winds blast through their homes virtually unabated.
Shortly after the storms, Running Strong had partnered with other nonprofits serving Pine Ridge to begin assessing the damage and repairing the homes of the families most in need.
Today, they are long gone and with the Federal Emergency Management Administration deeming the damage not widespread enough to warrant assistance, it is up to us to protect as many families as possible as soon as possible from the sub-zero temperatures and fierce, bitter winds.
Running Strong, led by our Oglala Lakota field staff who are part of the Pine Ridge family, remains committed to the rebuilding process – which, without our partners in the effort, is much more of an undertaking that we originally anticipated.
Our field staff is stretched – particularly with the holiday food and toy distributions fast approaching – and we have hired additional contracts to ensure that these families will have the critically-needed repairs to their homes before the worst of the winter weather strikes.
As we have done for more than 30 years on Pine Ridge, and elsewhere throughout Indian County, Running Strong will be there until the job is done.
Click here to support the rebuilding process.