At Running Strong for American Indian Youth®, for decades we have been providing running water to thousands of households on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, first by the truckload, and then by digging deep water wells.
Today, we are connecting homes to the main water service line which runs through the reservation ensuring that families have access to all the clean, treated water they need for all their basic needs including drinking, cooking, bathing and washing.
Thanks to our supporters like you, over the past five years we have connected well over 100 households to the water line at an average cost of $7,500 per family.
Among them is Samantha, a resident of the Wolf Creek area of the reservation, who had a 16-month-old child and was expecting a second, and had not had running water for nearly a year when she applied recently to Running Strong to have a water line run 600 feet from the main water service line to her mobile home.
Instead, the expecting 22-year-old mother was hauling buckets of water from a neighbor 1/4-mile away.
Before reaching out to Running Strong, Samantha had submitted an application with the Indian Health Service, “And they denied us.
“I need to have running water to meet their basic bathing needs, as well as my own basic needs.”
But that was then, and now after Running Strong ran 600 feet of water pipe and installed an outside hydrant in her yard, Samantha has access all the water she needs for all the basic needs for herself, and her two young children.
While it’s hard to believe that in the United States today that there are thousands of our fellow Americans who have to trek to their neighbors’ homes, or drive miles to a community water collection site, to fetch water for all their daily needs it’s a sad, but true, fact on reservations throughout Indian County such as Pine Ridge it’s not uncommon.
At Running Strong for American Indian Youth® our goal is to connect at least 80 homes to the water line with help from our supporters like you.