Many Native American families are unable to meet their immediate survival needs due to generational poverty and remote living conditions. Running Strong addresses this issue by providing the necessities to those who are struggling. We send new coats, hats, gloves, and shoes to Native American families who are unable to afford them. We also distribute hygiene kits, blankets, bedding and other household staples. Helping to improve Native American people’s daily lives is critical, and is the first step in bringing about bigger change.
Food insecurity is a prevalent issue in remote, rural communities, and Native American reservations especially face taxing conditions.
In response to community need on Cheyenne River, Running Strong built the Eagle Butte Food Pantry in 1996. This was followed by a 1,260 square foot addition in 2003, and the donation of a brand new walk-in freezer in 2010. To date, Running Strong has delivered 35,700 food boxes to the Eagle Butte Food Pantry, totaling over 680,000 pounds of food, and has distributed nearly a million pounds of food to other communities nationwide.
For decades, our partners, and the Native American children and families they serve throughout Indian Country have been grateful for the kindness of strangers — notably our loyal and generous supporters — to ensure that thousand don’t have to bear the brunt of a frigid winter in a tattered, hand-me-down coat, or worse, merely a sweater or sweatshirt.
To date, we have distributed nearly 30,000 pairs of snow boots, over 33,000 winter parkas, more than 20,000 hat, gloves. and scarf kits, and over 11,000 thick, wool blankets.
For some families on Pine Ridge, a strict budget grows even tighter in the winter months, balancing food, medicine, and other utility bills as fuel and seasonal expenses skyrocket. In the upper plains of South Dakota, harsh winter storms regularly drive temperatures down to -5º (a punishing -30º after wind chill). With many homes lacking proper insulation as a matter of costly repairs, a consistent source of fuel often makes a difference between life and loss on Pine Ridge.
Through Running Strong’s Heat Match, Pine Ridge residents are eligible to receive a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $100 to go towards paying for their propane tanks to be filled, or applied towards their electric bill. We have helped thousands of families keep warm throughout the years thanks to the support of our donors!