THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING MY FUNDRAISER WITH THE VISIONS FOUNDATION!
Annual Holiday Light Parade that included supplies and gifts purchased with money from the fundraiser.
It was inspiring working with Samantha on this fundraiser. The Northern Cheyenne reservation was hit hard by the pandemic with a heavy toll on human life, and our partners at Chief Dull Knife Community College did an incredible job keeping spirits up and continuing to create educational and connection activities for kids and all community members. We have been honored to work with them over many, many seasons and we were happy to help support this fundraiser during a time when our programs couldn’t be there in person.
The funds raised by Samantha went toward a youth and family gardening project, a canning and food preservation workshop, pumpkin painting and pumpkin cooking workshop, treats for the annual “trunk or treat”—a Halloween gathering that includes having treats in vehicles so kids can trick or treat in a central setting, and the holiday light parade that included giving gifts to kids.
In 2018, I took part in a VISIONS Service Trip to the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Lame Deer, Montana. My days involved community activities such as serving up meals at the Senior Center, paving a sidewalk at the Fire Station, and engaging with children at the Boys and Girls Club. I was humbled to be welcomed by the Northern Cheyenne community and grateful for the opportunity to gain a better understanding of their history and culture. By unplugging from my devices and staying in the moment, I was also able to authentically view the beauty and challenges faced by this community.
I shared my experience with fellow VISIONers from all over the world, who had a similar desire to participate in efforts being done at a grassroots level. In addition to work activities, we visited important historical sites, such as the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument and Deer Medicine Rocks, and attended the annual powwow, where we observed tremendous cultural pride and tradition. Through these experiences, I found a greater understanding of this amazing, resilient group of people, as well as an appreciation of the dedication they have to preserving their heritage. When I left Lame Deer, I better understood my own place in the world and felt grateful for the perspective and feeling of connectedness I had gained.
Photos from Samantha’s summer on the Northern Cheyenne reservation.
Like many Americans, COVID-19 has disrupted normal operations and impacted the Northern Cheyenne and other tribes, many of which already faced inequalities in terms of resources that so many in our country might take for granted. VISIONS started working on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in 1991 and has built strong ties and relationships over the years. Unfortunately, VISIONS is unable to be there this summer due to the pandemic.
Summertime in Montana is beautiful, and it provides its own unique set of challenges for many of the children on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. With no school, gyms, or swimming pool to use and broken park equipment, kids are left with few options as to where they spend their time.
I am hoping to raise $10,000 to help build the capacity of two organizations that are doing really important work: Kids Kollege, which focuses on healthy lifestyles of mind, body and spirit, and the Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Cheyenne Nation. Some incredible people run these organizations and this fundraiser will enhance the work they are doing, including reaching additional kids and adding more resources to provide positive, fun, and safe activities for these children to participate in over the summer and beyond.
While I cannot physically be in Montana this summer, I am there in spirit and ask you to join me as well. If you are able, your contribution will be greatly appreciated.
With sincere thanks,