This week, CRYP officially launched its online store. The e-store carries select items from CRYP’s Keya (Turtle) Gift Shop, and proceeds benefit the nonprofit organization’s youth programming and family services on South Dakota’s remote Cheyenne River Lakota reservation.
The Keya Gift Shop is an important social enterprise for CRYP, along with the Keya Cafe & Coffee Shop and seasonal Leading Lady Farmers Market. Executive Director Julie Garreau said she and her team are grateful to the Northwest Area Foundation for making a significant investment in CRYP through its social enterprise grant funding.
“The NWAF grant gives us the opportunity to grow our social enterprise initiatives in a meaningful, lasting way,” Garreau said. “This investment honors the work we’ve been doing with Lakota youth on our reservation for nearly 30 years, and it means so much to us.”
She noted that giving the Keya Gift Shop an online presence was an important step, one that will make a valuable contribution to the youth project’s operations. Not only will it provide CRYP supporters with even greater access, it will help raise awareness.
“We want people to know that our gift shop isn’t just about the merchandise, although we’re certainly proud of it,” Garreau said. “It’s also about the local artists and craftspeople who now will be able to reach a much broader audience. It’s about our youth artists who are learning how their creative passions might translate to possible career opportunities. And it’s about the teen interns who work in our gift shop every day, developing valuable skills in customer service, financial literacy and business management.”
Indeed, by supporting the Keya Cafe, customers are directly supporting CRYP’s innovative teen internship program, its youth arts programming, its community development initiatives, and so much more. A few of the available items include CRYP T-shirts, sweatshirts, lanyards, water bottles and mugs; RedCan T-shirts, photography books, mugs and ground coffee; custom-designed coasters; original youth art; History Wall posters; the children’s book “Scribble Squad: In the Weird, Wild West”; and the “Home: Cheyenne River Lakota Nation” coffeetable book.
To view the selection of available gift items, simply visit www.lakotayouth.org/shop. To learn more about gift items available only in-store, call (605) 964-8200.
To learn more about the Cheyenne River Youth Project and its programs, and for information about making donations and volunteering, call (605) 964-8200 or visit www.lakotayouth.org. And, to stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook (/LakotaYouth), Twitter (@LakotaYouth) and Instagram (@waniyetuwowapi).
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.