To celebrate the spirit of the season, and continue to raise much-needed funds so it can bring Christmas cheer to more than 1,600 children this year, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® is hosting a Winter Star Quilt Raffle. Tickets are on sale until the end of the day on Friday, December 23, and on Monday, December 26, CRYP staff will announce the lucky winner who will be receiving a handmade, queen-size Lakota star quilt.
Bonnie LeBeau, a Cheyenne River Sioux tribal member, hand-crafted the seasonally inspired quilt, which has been named “Prairie Winter.” According to Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director, all funds raised through the raffle will benefit the annual Christmas Toy Drive, one of the nonprofit youth project’s longest-running and most important programs.
“We’re hoping to raise $3,000 in this year’s star quilt raffle,” Garreau said. “Those funds will go directly to our toy drive, which serves more than 1,600 children ages 4 to 18 in communities across our 2.8-million-acre reservation.”
She noted that the public can assist with this important fundraiser in three ways. Supporters may buy tickets, offer to sell tickets, and help spread the word by telling family and friends and by sharing raffle details through social media..
Tickets are $1 each or $5 for a six-ticket packet. To purchase tickets, send cash, checks or money orders to: Cheyenne River Youth Project, Attn: Star Quilt, P.O. Box 410, Eagle Butte, SD 57625. You also may pay online at www.lakotayouth.org. Simply click the “Donate Now” button on the home page, and put “Star Quilt” in the notes section when paying with a credit card. Please do not write the word “raffle” anywhere in the payment.
To sell tickets, please send an email to Tammy Eagle Hunter, CRYP’s youth programs director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will send as many tickets as you request; they come in books of six. Once you receive your tickets, along a quilt photo and information sheet, you will be responsible for selling those tickets. All tickets need to be turned in by December 23 so CRYP can conduct the drawing as planned on December 26.
“Our wintertime holiday raffles are always exciting for us,” Garreau said. “Not only do we get to send an authentic, handmade Lakota star quilt to a lucky winner, we’re giving our friends and supporters around the world yet another way to help bring holiday joy, magic and hope to Cheyenne River’s children.”
On South Dakota’s remote Cheyenne River Lakota reservation, most families cannot stretch their budgets to cover holiday gifts. This is one of the poorest regions in the United States, with an unemployment rate hovering around 75 percent, and roughly 60 percent of households with children under the age of 18 falling below the poverty level.
That means far too many deserving children likely would have no Christmas at all, in a season that should be full of such promise. For CRYP staff and volunteers, that is simply unacceptable; so, each year, they work hard to bring Christmas to many hundreds of children—and their grateful families.
If you would like to support the Christmas Toy Drive this holiday season, please consider purchasing tickets in the Winter Star Quilt Raffle—and click here for detailed information regarding the many other ways you can help. Every contribution, no matter the size, will ensure that Cheyenne River’s children receive what they most richly deserve: a very merry Christmas.
To stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Cheyenne River Youth Project, founded in 1988, is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a wide variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities that ensure strong, self-sufficient families and communities.