We have had quite an amazing year! Check out our year-end highlight video!
In 2017, Running Strong connected 34 households on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation with the main water service line that runs through the reservation. Each of these families now has access to safe, clean water and no longer needs to travel long distances to haul it home.
Providing in-kind donations of food and other supplies remained a big part of what Running Strong did this past year.
In 2017, Running Strong distributed 6,000 frozen food boxes to families on the Pine Ridge and Cheyenne River Sioux reservations; 3,000 dry food boxes; and 3,008 turkeys to Pine Ridge and Cheyenne River families for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Other in-kind items distributed were: 6,890 StudyStrong backpacks and school kits; 5,799 WarmStrong winter coats; 3,610 WarmStrong winter accessories kits including hats, gloves and scarves; 4,795 pairs of WarmStrong winter boots; 1,334 fleece jackets; 916 hygiene kits; 1,235 pairs of athletic shoes; 1,430 blankets; 2,280 boxes of laundry detergent; 37,350 diapers; and 1,586 SmileStrong dental kits.
Nearly 100 children on Pine Ridge and Cheyenne were treated by dental hygienists and received a SmileStrong dental kit through our partnership with Delta Dental of South Dakota.
In total Running Strong distributed items on 32 sites in 16 states, serving members of more than 29 tribal nations throughout Indian Country.
Working with our newest partner on Pine Ridge, the Oyate Teca Project, we were able to secure a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant for $50,000 to support facilities upgrades and garden equipment at the community center. Oyate Teca was able to purchase air conditioning, a new stove with exhaust hood, a hay bailer, a walk-behind tractor, greenhouse and flatbed.
The Dreamstarter™ program continues impacting Native youth and their communities across the country. Hokani Maria, a 15-year-old Native Hawaiian, constructed a traditional canoe with support from his community. Blaze Burrows is revitalizing a traditional stick game in his community and teaching youth how to play. Kristina Hyatt, the “Native American Tooth Fairy,” is teaching thousands of Indian youth the importance of proper dental hygiene. Noah Hotchkiss received a college scholarship to play wheelchair basketball and continues to operate his wheelchair basketball camps for disabled Native youth.
In addition, we also granted 34 Dreamstarter Teachers with up to $1,000 each to offset the costs for field trips, school supplies and other expenditures not covered by their school systems.
All this was made possible by generous supporters like you!
Last summer, our Summer Youth Feeding Program served a total of 5,047 meals to children that would otherwise have gone hungry during the hot summer months. This year, our goal is to serve 205 meals a day from June 2nd - August 15th - if funds allow.