It's hard to talk about sponsoring a Lakota child without using the word, "Sponsor." Unfortunately, this word doesn't convey the true meaning of helping a child in a Lakota home.
When I recently asked a sponsored child what his sponsor meant to him, he said, "It's like having a best friend!" "Best friend" is a much more accurate description of what it means to be a sponsor.
Of course, sometimes sponsoring a Lakota child may mean rushing a pair of tennis shoes to the Rez, because his toes are sticking out the ends of the old ones and there's snow in the forecast.
More often, it is Hearing about the highlights (and lowlights) of their day at school. Learning to understand who and what they love and hold dear to them. Listening as they describe the struggles and the blessings of living life as a Lakota on a reservation. Understanding the cultural differences and Loving them as you would with any other friend.
QUOTES FROM PEOPLE BEING SPONSORED:
Thank you for the food, huge watermelon. The Lakota people are beaten down with suppression, living in oppression, yet, we wacin tanka, persevere. No matter how hard it gets, you will continue. Your Lakota thinking kicks in and you find ways to improvise, help each other...Lakota morals. Thank you One Spirit, that watermelon and box of nutritious food has put smiles on some children's faces and heart.
I pray for One Spirit every night because of the good that is done.
This good is like the work of angels. Bless each one of you.
QUOTE FROM A SPONSOR:
Sponsorship is amazing in the sense that it provides not only a realm for your spirit to give to those who are in need, but a realm for your own spirit to learn and grow. It is the connection to family, to friendship, to love that allows a bond across miles to develop and succeed. Being a sponsor is one of the greatest blessings I can give to the family I help and the greatest gift I have given to myself. I would recommend all to extend their hearts and sponsor a child, elder, or family today.
WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE AN AREA SERVICE COORDINATOR (ASC):
Being an ASC for One Spirit is difficult to summarize within a sentence or two. The best way to describe what it means to be an ASC to me is friendship, hope, inspiration, and love. I came to One Spirit as a sponsor for two sisters and am now not only a sponsor, but a student and friend of the Lakota families in which I work with. Being an ASC is so much more than giving or helping the people you are a coordinator for, but it is learning, growing, and watching your own spirit flourish because of the connection to the people you assist. Being an ASC is amazingly beautiful, wonderful, and awesome. I hope all have the opportunity to feel what I feel every time I speak to the amazing families on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
For more information about becoming a sponsor or other questions please contact: