For families struggling to get by on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation $100 is a lot of money – and trying to come up with $200 all at once to cover the cost of having a propane truck come to their home to fill their tank can be challenging.
In order to ensure that families and elders stay warm during the harsh South Dakota winters, 20 years ago Running Strong for American Indian Youth® initiated our Heat Match program to give Pine Ridge residents a hand up when they need it most.
Beginning with the first Monday in January, families can come to the Running Strong field office, Tipi Waste Un Zanipi (Wellness Through a Good Home) to get a “Heat Match.” Running Strong will match dollar-for-dollar up to $100 to fill their propane tank or offset the costs of electricity.
Last year, thanks to our supporters, we were able to do that over and over again for 1,000 separate families. We help them raise their heat.
With this winter’s Heat Match program to begin in two weeks, one generous supporter, Steve Lauri, has stepped up to “match” the Heat Match. Steve has visited families on Pine Ridge while on the Running Strong Reservations Tour and has seen firsthand the challenges they face and their determination and spirit to overcome these obstacles.
Steve will be matching each gift we receive this winter designated for the Heat Match program, up to $10,000!
That means that your gift will go twice as far! Each gift will be matched by both Steve and Running Strong, so a gift of $100 ensures that two households will stay warm all winter.
Any size gift will help.
And the more we have at the ready on those first days of January, the more families will receive the much-needed heat on the first day of the Heat Match.
Next week, the forecast is calling for low temperatures in the single digits, and the “highs” below freezing, and that doesn’t account for the wind chill factor!
The days and weeks following the Christmas and New Year’s holidays are the coldest and hardest time of the year for Pine Ridge residents, particularly for the children and elders.
Today we are asking for your help to ease their burden of staying warm throughout the rest of the winter.
Please help raise the heat, and know that your impact will be doubled.