On October 14, 2011, ABC News program "20/20" did a special on "Hidden America: Children of the Plains." the show followed several young Lakota children to show the daily life and their struggles. although statistics vary, depending on who you talk to, most of the figures are close.
- 97% of the population is below the Federal Poverty line
- Unemployment varies from 85% - 95%
- The average life expectancy is approximately 45 years old
- Average media income is approximately $2600-$3500 a year
- At least 60% of the homes are substandard
- Elderly die each year from freezing (hypothermia)
In addition, the weather can be extreme on the reservation with the winds being so severe; often, the winter temperatures can reach -50 or colder.
A group of Christian families have recently become close with a Lakota Indian, Mike Donahe, and his family. He has provided many of the same facts as the 20/20 show did. A quick search on the internet also confirms the same facts and conditions.
As a group, we feel we cannot stand by without doing something. We are also asking others to join in our efforts to make a difference and save someone's life.
We are looking for any type of blankets, new or clean used ones. We are asking that blankets be individually wrapped; a trash bag will do fine, or bagged to assist in the distribution. We will also be collecting heaters (kerosene or electric). None of the items need to be new, just simply in good condition.
We will deliver these items to the Lakota People of Pine Ridge the second week of November. To help with the cost of transportation, we are asking if everyone would also donate just $1 along with each item donated. No one is obligated for the dollar donation, but it would be greatly appreciated for gas. Please, don't let that be a deterrent for donating items.
Feel free to share this with your friends and neighbors. Together we can make a difference. This will be a small step to help a 3rd World Nation in our own backyard (South Dakota, USA).
If you would like more information, feel free to contact Mike Donahe at (352) 207-5017. He will be glad to provide additional information as well as scheduling the pickup of items. Our deadline to have all items collected is November 6, 2011
To see the 20/20 episode, click here.