A gift from Arkansas
“I don’t see how they manage. I really don’t.”
Well into their golden years, Lowell and Sarah make regular trips to Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Trailer in tow, they deliver much-needed supplies to Cheyenne River Indian Outreach, helping women and children fleeing from domestic violence.
“Lowell’s mother always gave through the mail,” said Sarah. “When she came to live with us, we would see the mail and started to learn about the organization. We were excited by what they do for Lakota families. Their work is so important and needed.”
After she passed away, Lowell and Sarah were inspired to carry on her tradition.
“We could never send very much money,” said Lowell. “But thanks to the newsletters we received in the mail, we knew they needed clothing, small appliances and basic items for a new home.”
The pair began watching yard sales and keeping a sharp eye out for things like toasters, towels and coffeemakers.
“We sent a few things by mail, but it was so expensive to ship!” said Sarah.
That’s when they decided to get a trailer.
With the help of their church family, the trailer began to fill up. Gently used clothing, books, blankets and more were left on their doorstep, waiting to make the trip to South Dakota. Local hotels donated towels and linens. Families picked up extra school supplies while they were on sale. Staff at the thrift store set aside a “South Dakota bag,” reserved for items they knew were especially needed and hard to come by.
“We’re so grateful to have our community involved!” said Sarah.
“There’s just such tremendous need,” said Lowell. “We’re not wealthy by any means, but we have a lot of support. We really just do the collecting everything is donated. We invest our time and gas money to make the trip.”
So important is their twice-annual trip to Cheyenne River Indian Outreach, that Lowell and Sarah spend their spare time working up to four different jobs to make sure they have the extra money needed to pay for gas and a hotel along the way.
It’s worth it, they both agree.
“It was something we could do,” said Sarah. “So we did. We do.”