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Why We Need Youth Centers at Pine Ridge

Listen to the Children

“Being hungry is giving your food to your brothers and deciding which one to give it to because we are all hungry.”

Recently I sat with 6 young people from Pine Ridge Reservation and listened. A young girl described what it was like to be hungry and have no food. In a discussion about what should be in a youth center, the young people asked for a counselor they could talk to, not someone with degrees but just people who would be there for them. 


“I have no parents. “

“I always tried so hard to do something that would make my mother proud of me but she was never there.”

I watched as the young people broke into tears, ran from the room, and tried to comfort one another.
“We need something to do at a youth center - basketball, games, food, computers, a place to study. “

We sat for more than an hour and talked. The youth had painted their faces in order to “allow the inner spirit to come out.” Then they got on horses for a ten-mile ride. At night they would sleep in teepees. It was 15 degrees outside but the fire in the middle of the teepee warmed them. They took turns staying up to tend the fire. 

Can you help us build youth centers on Pine Ridge? 100% of your donation will go to the youth center and the youth programs.

Kids should not be hungry and alone.