Moving from Relative to Relative
Imagine moving from relative to relative because you have no home. Imagine your three teenage boys living in a boarding school a thousand miles away because you can't move such a large group from house to house. Imagine them coming home for Christmas in need of clothing and personal items for school and you can't afford to meet their needs. Imagine the heartache of this mother, so anxious to see her boys and so sad that she cannot possibly meet their basic needs much less provide them any Christmas.
When Ann read this story and thought of her own boys she was heartbroken and related the story to her family. Much to her pleasure and surprise her two teenage sons, Erik and Soren, asked if they could forego their Christmas and instead buy things for this Okini family. These selfless young men gave up their Christmas and Ann went shopping. As a result the teenage boys on Pine Ridge will go back to school with new clothing, shoes, coats and a few extras. When this mother received the news she broke into tears of gratitude saying "Oh thank you, thank you...they are such good boys and I miss them so much but at least they are getting a good education. Now they will have the things they need". Angels come in many forms, in this case they came as two teenagers willing to give up their Christmas for three teens on the reservation. You can be an angel for someone too.
Elder Husband and Wife
An elder husband and wife lost their home and all their belongings. The husband was subsequently in the hospital and the social worker there contacted ONE Spirit for help. Through the Okini program the couple received household items and clothes. When the wife learned that they would also be getting food for Thanksgiving she started crying. She had been wondering how she was going to feed herself and husband once he came out of the hospital.
Caring for 9 Grandchildren
A sponsor for a grandmother who cares for 9 grandchildren had to stop sponsoring food because of some personal difficulties. The Service Coordinator learned during a phone call that the family was out of food. Since it was still some time before either the food program or EBT would be available to help, ONE Spirit arranged for food credit at the local supermarket and is now providing food for the family each month. Hopefully there will be another sponsor soon.
A call on Thanksgiving
One mom called over Thanksgiving weekend to ask if she could get some wood for heat. This was the family's only means of support and it was cold. Her sponsor had offered to help with wood but had not yet made arrangements for that. The Service Coordinator called the Manager of the wood program on the reservation who lived over an hour away from the family. Even though it was Sunday, he arranged for someone to deliver the wood.
Every time I (Service Coordinator) talk to someone on the Rez, they thank me for all the help we give them and tell me if not for One Spirit and the programs we have they wouldn't be able to care for their families. One Spirit furnished many elders with an AC unit during the extreme heat this summer. Young mothers appreciate the Okini list. They are able to list their immediate needs and receive them quickly.