It’s that time of year again. On Wednesday, Aug. 10, the Cheyenne River Youth Project in Eagle Butte will begin distributing much-needed school supplies for the 2022-23 school year. Due to rising Covid case rates on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, the nonprofit organization is asking Family Services members to call and schedule an appointment to pick up their supplies.
“Instead of doing a big distribution on a single day, we’re going to continue with the process we established during the first two years of the pandemic,” said Jerica Widow, programs director. “Families can call us to set up private appointments starting Aug. 10, and we will continue distributing supplies through the end of the month and even into early September.”
To support this important annual program, contributors across the country can visit lakotayouth.org/school-supplies-drive to sponsor a child, make a general donation, or provide in-kind donations through CRYP’s Amazon wish list. According to Widow, sponsorship has proven to be a popular option in recent years.
“We’ve built detailed supplies lists that we update on an annual basis,” she explained. “We’ve determined that $30, $40, $60 and $70 will sponsor a child at the following levels: kindergarten through second grade, third through fifth grade, sixth through eighth grade, and ninth through 12th grade.
“Once a sponsor has contributed the funds, we’ll handle all the shopping and safe delivery to the child,” she continued. “If the sponsor wishes to contribute a backpack as well, an additional $30 will allow us to incorporate that. And if a supporter wishes to make a general donation, they can do that through our secure Square form as well. Every contribution makes a difference.”
Also at lakotayouth.org/school-supplies-drive, supporters will find a link to the Amazon wish list if they would prefer to make an in-kind donation. This list itemizes the school supplies needed for each set of grades.
CRYP’s annual School Supplies Drive is a major component of its Family Services program, created in 2002. To participate, all a local family needs to do is pay a $30 annual membership fee, which covers all family members for the year and provides access to school supplies, shoes, winter clothing, household supplies, baby items, and the Wo Otuh’an Wi Toy Drive during the winter solstice season.
Those who have current Family Services memberships will receive invitations for their children to participate in the school supplies distribution. If a family does not have a membership but is interested in obtaining one, simply call the CRYP office at (605) 964-8200. All children must have invitations to receive their new school supplies.
To support CRYP’s 2022 School Supplies Drive, visit lakotayouth.org/school-supplies-drive. Supporters also may send checks and in-kind donations directly to the Cheyenne River Youth Project at 702 4th St., P.O. Box 410, Eagle Butte, SD 57625.
CRYP staff is requesting that contributions arrive in-house no later than Friday, Aug. 5, so they will have time to shop for additional needed supplies, organize them, and prepare for hundreds of excited children. If supplies arrive after the deadline, however, the youth project will continue to collect and distribute them as needed during the final weeks of summer and the first weeks of the new school year.
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, 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.