With Covid cases on the rise in South Dakota, the Cheyenne River Youth Project in Eagle Butte is asking local families to place orders for their children’s school supplies in advance. Staff members will fulfill those orders between Aug. 11 and Sept. 1, and they will contact families to schedule pickup dates and times.
Families who are not yet members of CRYP’s Family Services program can activate their memberships at lakotayouth.org/programs/family-services/membership. Current members simply will click the “Monthly Request Form” button on that page and complete the form, checking the “School Supplies” box and listing all needed items.
Families who would prefer to provide their requests in person can do so at a Family Services table underneath the canopy at the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) entrance. This table will be available daily.
“We originally planned to have a single-day distribution at Cokata Wiconi, as we have in years past,” explained Jerica Widow, CRYP’s youth programs director. “With increasing numbers of active Covid cases, however, we chose to return to the protocols that served us well in 2020.
“Once you’ve placed your order, either online or in person at our Family Services table, all you need to do is wait for us to call you,” she continued. “We’ll give you a date and time for pickup, and you can ‘drive-thru’ our distribution station at the Cokata Wiconi entrance.”
Widow also noted that CRYP will be connecting with schools and teachers across the 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation to ensure they have the supplies they need for the start of the 2021-22 school year. The nonprofit youth organization has built supplies lists for kindergarten through second grade, third through fifth grade, sixth through eighth grade, and ninth through 12th grade.
The annual School Supplies Drive is a major component of CRYP’s Family Services program, created in 2002. To participate, all a local family needs to do is pay a $30 annual membership fee, which covers all family members for the year and provides access to school supplies, shoes, winter clothing, household supplies, baby items, and the long-running Wo Otuh’an Wi Toy Drive during the holidays.
Widow said it’s not too late for supporters to sponsor a child in this year’s School Supplies Drive, or to access the youth project’s Amazon wish list for in-kind donations.
“All you have to do is visit lakotayouth.org/school-supplies-drive,” she said. “You also may send checks and in-kind donations to the Cheyenne River Youth Project, 702 4th St., P.O. Box 410, Eagle Butte, SD 57625.” To learn more about CRYP and its programs, and for information about making donations and volunteering, call (605) 964-8200 or visit www.lakotayouth.org.