Help the Cheyenne River Youth Project Serve 1,500 Children This Holiday Season by Becoming a Christmas Toy Drive Donor or Volunteer!
Published October 24, 2015
EAGLE BUTTE, SOUTH DAKOTA — To celebrate the spirit of the season, and continue to raise much-needed funds for its annual Christmas Toy Drive efforts, the Cheyenne River Youth Project is once again hosting a Holiday Star Quilt Raffle. Tickets are on sale until Thursday, December 24, and on Saturday, December 26, CRYP staff will announce the lucky winner who will be receiving a handmade, queen-size Lakota star quilt.
This year’s quilt is titled “Winter Watercolors.” Bonnie LeBeau, a Cheyenne River Sioux tribal member, hand-crafted the art-inspired quilt for the holiday raffle.
“We love the theme of this quilt because it resonates on more than one level,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “Here, at The Main youth center and the Cokata Wiconi (“Center of Life”) teen center, our kids are always involved in artwork. One of the most popular mediums, particularly with the little kids, is watercolor. When I look at this quilt, I see a celebration of winter color and holiday festivity; I also see a celebration of our children, their creativity, and the healing power of art.”
Garreau noted that the public can support this important fundraiser in three ways: 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: Winter Watercolors 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 “Winter Watercolors” in the notes section when paying with a credit card. 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 24 so CRYP can conduct the drawing as planned on December 26.
All funds raised through the raffle will benefit CRYP’s Christmas Toy Drive program, which serves approximately 1,500 children across 20 reservation communities each year.
“The Holiday Star Quilt Raffle is always exciting for us,” Garreau said. “Not only do we get to send an authentic, handmade Lakota star quilt to a lucky winner, we get to join forces with our friends and supporters around the country, and around the world, to help bring holiday joy to Cheyenne River’s children.”
On South Dakota’s remote 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River Sioux 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, on a day 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 Cheyenne River.
If you would like to support the Christmas Toy Drive this holiday season, please consider purchasing tickets in the Holiday Star Quilt Raffle — and visit www.lakotayouth.org 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 holiday season filled with joy, magic and hope.
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).