Okȟáta uŋ Ówičhakiyapi, (Helping them with Heat)
With CRYP’s Okȟáta uŋ Ówičhakiyapi, (Helping them with Heat) heat match program, Family Services members may receive matching grants up to $100 to help cover the cost of propane, electricity or firewood when they most need it. We process all the requests and work with local providers to ensure that each family receives assistance as quickly as possible during the bitter South Dakota winter and early spring months. The Okȟáta uŋ Ówičhakiyapi heat match program is supported by CRYP and the Sparkjoy Foundation.
To receive matching funds, all a family member needs to do is be a current member of Family Services and contribute up to $100, which will be matched by the grant. (Minimum contributions for propane are $50, as the local provider will only deliver orders of $100 or more.)
Winter Clothing Distribution
Each winter, CRYP hosts a special Winter Clothing Distribution, in which families can receive winter coats, snow boots and scarves. Other items, including children’s books, might be available as well. Heads of households must be present, and we also encourage all of the households’ children to attend so they can try on the clothing items to make sure they fit.
As with all of our distributions: If someone is not a current Family Services member, he or she may purchase a new membership that day, and may still participate in the event.
School Supplies Drive
On the Cheyenne River reservation, which comprises two of the poorest counties in the nation, most families don’t have room in their budgets for annual school supplies. That’s why staff and volunteers at CRYP work so hard to organize and distribute these much-needed items to their community’s schoolchildren.
We believe that every child deserves to start the new school year with the tools he or she needs to be successful. They also should be able to enjoy the excitement, anticipation and fun of preparing for the first day of school. At our annual School Supplies Distribution, our kids are able to choose their favorite items, help their parents make sure they’ve gotten everything on their lists, connect with friends, and be able to start the new year at the same starting line as everyone else.
Families who aren’t able to attend the distribution itself are welcome to visit Cokata Wiconi at a later date to choose their school supplies. Each year, CRYP serves more than 500 Cheyenne River children at the scheduled August distribution and in the days and weeks to follow.