One Spirit Volunteers

 

Managers / Administrators

 

 

Jeri Baker 
Jeri Baker
Director
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By the age of 15, Jeri had lost both her parents. With the support of her family, she came to Berea Foundation School to finish high school and stayed on to graduate from Berea College. During the ensuing years, she followed a passion to help others. For 30 years she worked in Child Protective Services and Children’s Mental Health for the State of Virginia. During her career, Jeri worked to overhaul foster care and government support systems so that children with emotional and mental disabilities could have access to free and appropriate education, high quality treatment, and other services while remaining in their own home.

After retiring, she learned about the extreme poverty on Pine Ridge Reservation and established a nonprofit organization. One Spirit’s goal is to provide support to the Lakota Native Americans while they increase their capacity to care for their own people. The organization now provides food to over 5,000 people monthly, heats more than 200 homes, built a youth center and a safe house for children, and is now launching a meat processing facility where the Lakota can process their own buffalo to feed their people. One Spirit also supports a variety of programs that are Lakota cultural initiatives, instilling in more than 400 Lakota youth a vision that recognizes that they are defined by more than the poverty in which they live.

Jeri was also a devoted wife, until her husband’s passing in 2005, and the mother of three children. Her children and 9 grandchildren have been a constant source of support and inspiration. In what passes as her free time, she cares for two grandchildren while their parents work – a job she cherishes.  

   

 Lisa Knouff

Lisa Knouff
Administrative Assistant

   

I’m an animal lover, nature lover and free spirit… always on the side of the underdog. My motto is: Every living thing has its own right to live. Favorite quote: Time is not the boss of me. ~ The 11th Doctor, Doctor Who

 

 

 

 

Matt Stoops

Matt Stoops
Business Management Director

 

I first made a connection with a Lakota family on Pine Ridge through friends of mine in Charlotte, NC. The lessons the Lakota have taught me changed my life and made me want to find a way to give back. One Spirit appealed to me because it was clear their focus was providing resources and opportunities to support goals that are determined by what the Lakota tell us they want not by what we think they need. I would encourage anyone who has an interest in helping to reach out to one of us to learn more about our personal experiences. I count the time I have spent working with One Spirit as one of the most important accomplishments of my life.

 

 

 

   

Sharon Autrey

Sharon Autry
Food List Manager

 


I was born and raised in Pennsylvania now living in Arizona. My volunteerism has been a part of my life for two decades. I began volunteering in the Park Watch Program for the Gettysburg National Military Park in 1996. The most important part of our job is to be the "eyes and ears" of the Park Rangers, patrolling the Battlefield, interacting with the millions of visitors each year, working with our exceptional team members to provide the best learning experience for our visitors during their visit to this unique Civil War Battlefield. I still travel to Gettysburg to engage in my volunteer duties.
 
I found One Spirit about 3 years ago and at that time I sponsored a family on the Okini List. Here it is 3 years later and I have sponsored more families and help to make sure healthy food is supplied each month for the hungry. I am so thankful to be part of this organization. My interactions with the people of Pine Ridge Reservation through my sponsorships and the help and guidance of the One Spirit family has strengthened my resolve to help those who need it so desperately and to make a difference in this world. 
 
 
 
 
   

Sharon Dusky

Sharon Dusky
Donor Services Manager

 

I've always been inspired by nature and the earth and feel most grounded when outside. Volunteering with One Spirit has been one of the greatest gifts I have received. It's funny how the great spirit leads you to where you need to be. I love my family and friends fiercely and have always felt a need to protect all creatures. "The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything"- Albert Einstein
 
 
 
 



Area Service Coordinators

Deborah Holcomb

Deborah Holcomb
Area Service Coordinator for Red Shirt

 

I've worked in the non-profit sector since the early 1990's and am a certified addiction counselor.  My greatest strength is my family and I love being a grandmother! Volunteering here has been a wonderful experience, as I get to know the families that I work with. I have never met such resilient and inspirational people! I believe that love, kindness and gratitude are best expressed through action and that all creations have value. We are all related.

 

 

 

 

   

Peta Cook

Peta Cook
Area Service Coordinator for Oglala and Manderson

 

 

I live in the United Kingdom and even though I am across the ocean, Native Americans and their history with the UK's behaviour towards them in the 1800's made me want to do my part. I researched how I could become involved and I found One Spirit. 
It was a perfect fit for me because it was hands on with the people. As I had always been in the social work field before I retired, I am lucky to be able to work with Lakota people and their families. It has truly been fulfilling.

 

 

 

 

   

Barbara Speer

Barbara Speer
Area Service Coordinator for Porcupine and Wounded Knee

 

 

I care - that is who I am... I am a mother, adoptive mother, foster mother - worked with an adoption agency - brought children from overseas to their new families... ran motherland tours. My kids use to say who is coming to dinner - we always had room for one more  at our home....

I work with One Spirit  and I have been privileged to visit the Pine Ridge Reservation many times and meet with the families... I feel it is important we all do our part - whether we work for One Spirit - sponsor - donate to the food program or Okini - every little bit counts. We will never truly know what it is like to walk in their shoes - but I know one thing - it is not easy.

 

 

 

 

     

Doris Briggs

Doris Briggs
Area Service Coordinator for Pine Ridge Village

 

 

To best describe the person that I am and how I try to live my life, I will borrow a quote from the great Martin Luther King…

“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our souls when we look the other way.”

 

 

 

     
Communication and Information System  
     

 Gaby Truemper

Gabriela Truemper
Webmaster

 

I am the webmaster of One Spirit and have been working on the website for quite some years. As a matter of fact, I don't remember the year when I started, could be in 2010.

I have been interested in Native Americans ever since. From earlier contacts with Canadian Natives I knew the bad and hard living conditions and was wondering what I could do to change it. Thanks to the internet I was able to gather information about different organizations who are working with Natives to improve their situation. What made me chose to work with One Spirit was the fact that they are no missionaries and that they don't assume they know better than the Natives themselves what is going to improve their situation.

And again – thanks to the internet I can do my share of work from Europe. Meanwhile, this has led to a further European affiliate – One Spirit Germany. In fact, it wasn't my idea to start it although it was my idea to translate the website into German and see what would happen. About one year after I did so, some guys who thought about spreading the word contacted me and in the end we started with One Spirit Germany. This founding had also to do with the German tax law but I don't want to bore you with details.

Meanwhile we also have a Dutch version of the website – let's see what will become of this!

     

 

 Under ConstuctionWe will add information about the other staff members by and by