On August 17-18, Cheyenne River families visited CRYP’s Čhokáta Wičhóni (Center of Life) in Eagle Butte for the nonprofit organization’s annual School Supplies Distribution. During the two-day event, which was open to members of CRYP’s Family Services program, nearly 200 children received all the supplies they needed to start the new school year.

In the two weeks since then, the CRYP staff has been working closely with Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation schools to distribute more school supplies. According to Programs Manager Jerica Widow, the youth project is able to serve an additional 179 children this way.

“We’ve worked hard in recent years to build robust supplies kits for kindergarten through 12th grade,” Widow said. “We’re deeply grateful to UMCOR and to all the donors who made this year’s distribution possible. Whether you sponsored a child, made a contribution through our Amazon wish list, or sent a custom donation, you helped ensure that nearly 500 children across our reservation were ready for the first day of school. Philámayeye.” 

The annual School Supplies Drive is a major component of Family Services, which was created in 2002. This important CRYP initiative provides access to school supplies, shoes, winter clothing, household supplies, baby items, and the long-running Wo Otuh’an Wi Toy Drive during the holiday season.

To learn more about CRYP 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, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

The Cheyenne River Youth Project is dedicated to giving our Lakota youth and families access to the culturally relevant, enriching, and enduring opportunities we need to build stronger, healthier communities and a more vibrant future together.