Being present parents sets a foundation in your child's life. If you have 2 great role models for parents, your odds for being a productive, happy and successful adult skyrocket. On the reservation more than 65% of the kids come from single family homes. If you add in poverty, drug and alcohol addiction, gang activity…it leads to extreme hopelessness.
More government guilt money thrown at the problem will not lead to a solution. More well-meaning programs have limited effectiveness. By spending time with the kids, encouraging them and believing in them, the solution will appear. For over 10 years LHNC in partnership with the Fort Peck tribe have been restoring the health, hope and dignity of the kids on the reservation.
Getting to know the kids of the Fort Peck Reservation has been the adventure of a lifetime. Seeing the frowns turn into smiles has been a labor of love. These kids are starting to experience hope for the first time in their lives. One of the basic tenants of working with kids who are disadvantaged is not feeling sorry for them, but rather giving them things to do or inviting them to join our group with our projects. We aim to engage them in things that have purpose and create meaning in their lives.
This year, as we head out to hand out gifts to the kids for our Christmas on the Reservation, we will be having lots of helpers or elves, as we like to call them. These elves may be inmates from the adult detention center's work release program who helped us at Fun Day last August and pledged their continuing support to help the kids. These elves might be young adults who benefited from Christmas on the Reservation when they were small. These elves might be elders who have witnessed first hand the effects of kindness upon the children.
Over the years we have had so much help from residents of the reservation. They help in all so many ways, from volunteering at our events and making meals for our groups, to inviting us to Pow-Wows, holding spiritual honor ceremonies and sweat lodge ceremonies, etc. Seeing their approving smiles makes you sure feel welcome when you travel to the reservation. It’s a lot like coming home.
If you are looking to get involved in this year's Christmas on The Reservation, simply click savethereservation.org or call 1.800.525.3879 and we’ll make it happen together.