Monday, December 10, 2007

Standing Rock Reservation - project background

Happy Holidays

About the Standing Rock Reservation

Lately several people have asked me for more information about what
we are doing for the Standing Rock Reservation, and I realized
that while I have told the story many times over the years, not
everyone has heard all of what we are doing and why, so
I wanted to give you a little background about our
8th Annual Holiday Project, and
who we are helping.

Who: The Children and Elders of The Standing Rock Reservation
What: The Standing Rock Reservation is one of the smallest, poorest, and
most remote of all the Sioux/Lakota reservations
Where: Cannon Ball North Dakota, about 50 miles outside of Bismark, ND
How: Thru the Church of The Tipi Wakan (House of Blessings) and Rev.
Boots Marsh and his wife Jackie Partin
Why: ? The 'why' is not a one reason, but multitudes of reasons, people,
and lives that we touch.

* * * * * * * *
Before the first Christmas we sent out some holiday donations, I had
asked what the children might want, we got back a list asking for socks, underwear, shampoo, toothpaste and similar basic necessities. There was only one 'toy' request, and that was for a jigsaw puzzle.

This list was not put together by adults, but by children, asking for what they wanted to get for Christmas. I cried when I read the long list of requests for such simple things like a bar of soap, that we tend to take for granted.

Over the years of talking with Pastor Boots, I have learned other
heartbreaking stories. Of the grandmother that took in her two
teenage granddaughters to live with her and they had one sweater
between the three of them to share for the cold brutal winter temperatures
in North Dakota. Of hand me down clothes worn until they are thread
bare. Of hand me down shoes with the toes cut out so they can still be
worn after the child has outgrown them. Children wearing clothes that
they have long outgrown, holding the waist of their jeans together with
a piece of rope, because they don't have proper size clothes.
Families crowded together in small homes because of the high incidence of house
fires due to numerous house fires that are caused from heating homes by burning wood in oil drums to heat the house. Elders in their 70's, 80's, and 90's
with no bed or no blanket, wearing everything they own to keep warm and
sleeping on the bare floor or a mat on the floor.

The list of reasons goes on and on. It is hard to imagine in this day and
age in American, that we have fellow human beings and citizens living in
conditions that could be considered appalling even by third world standards.

There are no large communities or cities near the Standing Rock Reservation,
and no social infrastructure to help this small community.
Mary Thunder has gathered people from around the US to help support
Rev. Boots and Jackie and their work on this tiny reservation. We are helping
them to make a difference in a community with 80% unemployment, where hope
is hard to come by.
People of Standing Rock now see Church of Tipi Wakan as a community
friend, neighbor and resource. When the reservation's supply of water ran
dry, Tipi Wakan helped get water for the reservation. They are helping the
elders, the children, and everyone of every age. Teens that have been in
gangs have come to help out at the church.

When you consider what a donation of $10, $20, $50, $100 can do, and how much
it can help, it is a very small thing that can make a big impact to a person
and to a community.

Please consider supporting this project. This is our last week of
collecting donations and supplies as we have begun wrapping gifts,
and next week with finish up with packing the boxes and preparing
them for UPS shipping. While $700 for UPS sounds like a lot of
money, it is less than $5 per child/elder for what we are shipping out.
Divided up that way, you can see it is really not so high as it may seem.
We are also sending out candy, sugar free candy, organic nuts, dried
fruits, coffee and teas. We also have a large supply of heavy fleece
blankets being sent out again this year.
When we put our numerous helping hands together, we make the work
light and joyous, and we send that energy, along with our gifts, out to
Tipi Wakan.

To do an online donation via PayPal, you do NOT need an existing
PayPal account. Just go online to, click on the
"send money" link and follow the instructions. The receiver will be
email address: This is the account address
used for The Peace Chapel.
As always, donations will be accepted at the front door on the
covered porch of Angel Hill House 24/7 (no need to knock), but
PLEASE leave your name with your donation.
The Peace Chapel
Angel Hill House
129 Governors Drive
Leesburg, VA 20175

If you are shipping your gifts and clothing directly to
Tipi Wakan in ND, the address is:
Church of The Tipi Wakan
7149 B South Big Lake Rd
Cannon Ball, ND 58528
Please reference The Peace Chapel so they know you
are part of our project.

Thank you so much for your love and support
during this holiday Season,
Sherry & Altazar

Sherry is on XM Radio! Mondays at 1 PM & 7 PM (ET)
On Broadminded - XM Channel 155 - Take 5
With Shari, Molly & Christine

"It is not sufficient for religious people to be involved with prayer. Rather, they are morally obliged to contribute all they can to solving the world’s problems."
-His Holiness the Dalai Lama

"History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak or
timid." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

"We own nothing but our souls and our truth, everything
else is on loan to us for our care taking. " - Rev. Sherry Sherry

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