Waníyetu Strong: Giving the Gift of Warmth to Native Children
Waníyetu (Winter) Strong isn’t just a seasonal initiative; it’s a commitment. Our mission? Ensuring 6,000 Native children and youth on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and others throughout Indian Country, receive brand new, warm coats this winter.
The Situation in Pine Ridge
Life on Pine Ridge can be particularly unforgiving. With nearly half its residents living below the federal poverty level, and a staggering 61% of those being children under 18, the challenges are apparent. Parents give their all, yet the harsh realities of poverty can mean hand-me-downs are the norm. Many children wear coats so worn that they hardly offer any protection against the cold, and shoes so tattered they’re hardly shoes at all.
Our Goal for Giving Tuesday
This Giving Tuesday, we’re setting a lofty goal: to fund 3,000 coats for younger children and another 3,000 for high school teenagers. Imagine the joy of a child receiving their very first brand-new coat, capable of shielding them from the cold winter winds.
Real Stories: The Impact of Giving
Halay Turning Heart from the Yuchi Language Project, Oklahoma, shared:
“Most of our Yuchi families are below the poverty level. Many families have 3-6 children, making the financial strain even more pronounced. The coats you provide ensure our children’s needs are met. s@nlA k’ayasOTa! (Thank you Running Strong).”
After receiving 200 coats from Running Strong, the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Cheyenne Nation in Montana reported:
“Jobs are scarce here. These coats are a big help in ensuring I can provide for my children. Thank you, Running Strong.”
Spirit Lake Tribal Health in North Dakota shared after a previous distribution:
“The new winter coats have been a lifesaver in our cold winters. Seeing the relief in parents’ eyes when they pick up winter gear for their children is heartwarming.”
Double Your Impact!
This year, on Giving Tuesday, your generosity can go even further. Every gift to Waníyetu Strong will be matched, up to $10,000. Your contribution can bring warmth to children who need it most.