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One Spirit
PO Box 3209
Rapid City SD 57709

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One Spirit supports running and sports activities throughout the reservation.

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Working with the Lakota people to end hunger and prevent diet-related disease.

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 Kids with Turkey

Good evening Jeri and all One Spirit ASC's, it was a very special Thanksgiving food day. It was a day of a lot of smiles happiness and holiday cheer as we passed out all the turkeys and food boxes. The day started out with the early-morning hunting adventure into the wild as of right now in Lakota country it is deer season. After the blizzard the sun is shining and we now are seeing a wintertime country side.

As we all know for some of us food day starts long before the Saturday, November 19th. With all the fundraising and sponsorships done by the One Spirit people Jeri Baker, Lisa Knoff, and all the sponsors it is sure a great team effort to bring this whole day into action.

Once Jeri gives me the word I head for Chadron Nebraska to pick up the turkeys at Walmart. It has been exciting but also a little bit of a pressure cooker for me because all the years I've done this the turkey load is sure heavy for the truck and trailer. We have calculated that the turkeys and little cutie oranges weighed 8,500 pounds. It ain't that big of a deal tell you send me into a blizzard to retrieve these turkeys and little cutie oranges. But the great spirit must watch over us because we made it home safely to the Indian action garage.

Now it would be up to Mark Rillings to bring the rest of the food on Saturday. It felt good for a while for the pressure to be off me after I got them turkeys to the garage. Now it was Saturday and Mark was on his way and so were the people. It was a colder day with temperatures probably right at freezing most of the day or at least that's what it felt like anyway. We unloaded the truck and Mark was on his way, he made it in good time. Before we were even done boxing the food up the people started to show up. We had to do all the districts before we passed out anything else, that's just how we do it. The people were kinda like an audience.

Filling Boxes Frozen Turkeys Turkey

The reason why we do it that way is because we don't want districts to get left out, we want to make sure we get their food out to them. It was now a line formed and a crowd gathered outdoors, the situation started to feel a little intense. You kinda of get people starting to look at you in a funny way. This is where the pressure is on. And this is where our well experienced crew really performs the best under pressure. Even though we were trying to get the districts out and we had people impatiently checking us out the crew just kept on working in that garage making boxes.

I am totally proud of the crew that worked in the garage. There is nothing better than experience and most of the guys in the garage and girls are well experienced with the One Spirit food program. There are times when I have to turn my back and go into town or outside and I can do that. I don't have to worry because I know the crew that's in there will take over and do a good job if I have to be gone for a few minutes.

As we were loading up the trucks we noticed the wind kind of kicked up and it brought with it a cold chill. With the line kind of long we moved as many people as we could to the inside of the building. As we are making boxes for each district, when that driver leaves he also takes with him some of the help. So basically the more drivers we get going out the door the less people we got in the building. I took a look through the line of people and discovered some young men and I told them to come on in here and help us. And from the line of people we replenished our workers in our helpers numbers.

My phone rings or beeps the text messages almost continuously to the point where I cannot answer it at all. I may be talking to an elder or a family in need at the same time my phone is going crazy.

I think we gave out close to 350 boxes today and turkeys. The Manderson driver did not show up. Tomorrow we will do Manderson. There is plenty of turkeys left, over 100 and we still got Manderson and some of Pine Ridge to do.

Ashley will be sending in the paperwork tomorrow or Monday. This is no longer food day, it is food three days!

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