In June 2010, a devastating storm ravaged the small community of Dupree, South Dakota, on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.
Winds clocked by the National Weather Service at 120 miles per hour and up to seven inches of rain in some areas wreaked havoc in a community with few resources to spare.
Thanks to the generosity of many friends, St. Joseph’s Indian School was able to answer the call for help.
A large van loaded with mops, cleaning solutions, dishes, sheets and blankets to make the trip to the Cheyenne River Reservation in the northwestern part of the state.
Upon arriving in Dupree, we saw homes and businesses without roofs and windows. One building was moved from its foundation. The excessive rain caused flash flooding and hampered travel as country roads – gravel or dirt to start with – became submerged. The torrent of water even caused sewers to back up. One foster parent we visited in the Eagle Butte community, 20 miles east of Dupree, lost all the clothes her foster children had to wear when the sewer backed up into her basement.
“I went to the help center in Dupree,” she said. “When I started the paperwork, they came and told me only residents of Dupree would receive assistance. What do I do now? The kids need clothes to wear. Where do I even begin cleaning up the mess?”
In the face of these hard questions, friends and neighbors came from miles around to assist in any way they could – boarding up windows, mopping up rain water and cleaning up the debris strewn everywhere. Sharing what they had and stretching every resource to its limit, the citizens of the Cheyenne River Reservation needed help.
Volunteers came to work, but supplies were still desperately needed. Cleaning supplies, clothing, fans and innumerable household items were – and still are – needed to help restore order to the lives of these people.
Pilamaya – thank you – for the support you give to St. Joseph’s Indian School, enabling us to reach out to make a real difference in the lives of people who need it most!
To donate household items lost in the storm, visit the Cheyenne River Indian Outreach in Eagle Butte, an outreach program of St. Joseph’s Indian School.
Follow Fr. Steve’s blog to see what he is doing in Eagle Butte.