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My Boot Camp Experience


{Knock, knock, knock} I stood patiently on the door step. I glanced nervously up and down the street.

I heard a muffled voice coming from inside the house.

"Come in!" The voice was low and harsh. Croaking. It was the voice of an old man. He sounded angry, annoyed, impatient."

I knocked again. The two bags of groceries were heavy. It was hot outside. I glanced nervously up and down the street again. Sweat was dripping down my forehead and behind my neck. A truck full of groceries was driving away into the distance. The faint noise of several other members of our group were making there way door to door in the distance, slowly filtering into the houses on the next street.

I glanced in the opposite direction to meet the sound of the soft steps of a dog meandering down the street. She glanced at me, her interest piqued, before continuing to hobble off towards an empty field past the houses. Her coat was matted and the nipples of an empty and malnourished stomach from a recent litter hung low, seeping through her ribs which were jutting out.

"COME IN". The man was angry now. I was on my own. Standing at 5’3" and weighing 120 pounds I didn't feel overly comfortable opening the door and walking into the house by myself.

I knocked one last time. I would leave the groceries on the door step if no one came to the door. I heard the soft pitter patter of light footsteps approaching the door. The faint steps didn't match the harsh, impatient voice of the man inside.

The footsteps reach the other side of the door before pausing. There was a moment of hesitancy, and slowly the door creaked slightly open. I looked up, expecting to see a man towering over me, but no one was there. Instead, my eyes fell into the soft, frail and distrustful expression of a small girl. She couldn't have been older than four years old.

"Hi there!" I smiled. "My name is Sarah. I'm with Love Has No Color." I did my best to sound upbeat. But the lost and wary expression on her face left my heart feeling heavy and my voice got caught in my throat. I stammered. "I... I have a few bags of groceries here for you and your family, as well as a backpack of goodies for you if you'd like it!” I looked down at the groceries, and then back into her sullen, sunken face. It seemed like nothing, this would provide food for her family for what, maybe two or three days? I wished I had more to give.

She opened the door slightly more, still hesitant. My heart sank even deeper. My eyes fell to the floor where I noticed her tiny, delicate and bare feet were stepping in various piles of what I assumed were dog feces that layered the floor of the home's front entrance. She didn't appear to notice.

Her frail arms reached out and took the bags of groceries and the backpack. Her frail arms could barely hold them, but a quick flash of excitement washed her face when she recognized the character's from the Disney movie, Frozen, on the backpack.

I was at a loss for words but tried to muster up the warmest smile I could. She glanced back up at me and the corners of her mouth slipped into a faint smile. She quickly glanced back and forth down the street before closing the door behind her.

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I am part of a group of many incredible health and wellness practitioners that travel to the Fort Peck reservation twice a year. Once during the summer and once in December for "Christmas on the Rez". During this particular trip last August, a team of chiropractors adjusted over 1,000 children, adults and even inmates. An office of one of the finest Naturopaths in all of Canada was on site providing treatments and foot baths. We traveled from all over North America with one purpose and mission: to restore hope, dignity, health and to end hunger on the Fort Peck Native American Reservation in Poplar, Montana

With the help and generosity of many amazing people last August, we were able to donate 1,200 backpacks filled with school supplies and 1,300 bags filled with high-quality, non-perishable groceries to the children and their families of the Fort Peck Reservation. Yet out of the several thousands of bags of groceries we delivered, the lost, sad and hopeless expression on that little girl's face will be etched in my memory forever. It's for her family and many others that I will continue to raise money, awareness and most importantly, hope, for children on the reservation.


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