“No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.”
-Amelia Earhart (1897-1937); Aviation pioneer, author
On Tuesday, January 3rd, Youth Leaders in Service held it’s first meeting of the New Year, focusing on the importance of simple gestures of kindness and what immense impacts they can have on ourselves and those around us. We decided to put together goodie bags to pass out to various businesses and people within our community, as a way to show our gratitude and hopefully bring about a smile! Four of us worked that evening to create over 100 goodie bags to hand out the following day.
With backpacks filled to the brim and scarves wrapped tight to keep us warm, we headed out the following afternoon to give out our goodie bags. We stopped at many different places, including the grocery store, gas station, WIC office, thrift store, four bands healing center, hospital, and the elderly manor. And we of course handed out goodie bags to anyone we happened to pass by on our way! It was a small project to be sure, but the hope is that it left a lasting impression with those we greeted, causing them to carry on the kindness!
Meta with one of our goodie bag recipients at the Four Bands Healing Center
Our stop at the hospital to share some goodies and smiles!
Our next meeting, we’ll be working on a birthday party for the little ones at the Main Youth Center, so stay tuned for pictures and project information!
On Thursday, November 10th 2011, Youth Leader’s in Service held a lock-in sleep-over in which our focus was appreciating our Veteran’s. At 9pm, when the Teen Center closed down, we were just beginning our night. We started off with pizza, snacks and drinks during a discussion of what activities we had in store for everyone as well as what Veteran’s Day means to us. We then began writing our personalized “Thank You” cards to the Veterans. While the Youth Leaders were writing their Thank You notes, the Adult Mentors began putting Veteran’s Day Care Packages together. These care packages were decorated in red, white and blue and each contained a blanket, a granola bar, an apple, an orange, raisins, and assorted hygiene products.
After all 50 care packages were assembled, decorated and adorned with a Thank You card. We celebrated with more pizza and root-beer floats, then we played basketball in the gym. We finished the night watching a movie together (A Knight’s Tale) and falling asleep sprawled out over mats on the Teen Center floor. We all woke up around 8:30am the next morning to pancakes and hot chocolate, we cleaned up, got ready for the day and then headed over to the Nutrition Center to ask the Veteran’s if they needed help with setting up or preparing for the Honoring Ceremony, they said that they did not need any assistance but were excited to hear that we had 50 Care Packages that we wished to present to the Veteran’s. We were invited to be part of the ceremony, in which we handed out our care packages and shook the hand of every Veteran who was present at the Honoring, thanking them for their Courage and Service. When there were more care-packages than present veterans, we then handed out the remaining care-packages to the Elders and drum circle who we also wished to Thank.
Not only did we have a blast during this lock-in sleep-over, but we also were honored to Thank our Veteran’s in this way as well as learn what it means to serve. We learned pieces of our own History and Culture by listening to the speeches given at the Honoring. One adult Volunteer Mentor had never experienced an Honoring Ceremony like that before and was asked by a Veteran if she thought it strange that they would hold such a ceremony after all of the wrongs that have been done to the Native people. He went on to explain the reasoning behind this. Many of the Youth Leaders were fascinated by elders who attended the ceremony who were speaking the Lakota language. This was a very meaningful, educational, and honorable experience for the Youth Leaders and Mentors and we would like to Thank the Cheyenne River Youth Project as well as Hopa Mountain for their support in our accomplishing this.
Meta Charger Writing Thank You Cards to Veteran’s.
Youth Mentor’s with Veteran’s after the Honoring Ceremony.
Cake’s served after the Honoring Ceremony.
Care Package Bags.
Writing Thank You Cards.
Handing out care packages/shaking the hands of Veteran’s to say Thank You!
Painting the trashcans has turned out to be a time consuming project, but that’s no problem! We are taking our time and having fun painting these trashcans. Our BRAVES trashcan is due to be finished tomorrow. The other trashcans are well on their way to being finished. We are hoping that we can put the trashcans back out into the community next week if not then the week after. Our YLS meetings are every Tuesday at 6pm, but we are SO excited about our trashcan painting project that we’ve really been meeting all through the week to work on the trashcans.
Joseph White Eyes decided he wanted to paint the Mario Brothers onto a trashcan, he carefully penciled the design onto the trashcan and now we are filling it in with paint, it’s looking really good thus far. I can’t wait to see the finished result.
We already have some awesome ideas of what we could do for our next project. Wambli Red Bird expressed that he would Love to see the trash picked up and cans recycled in his community because cans last forever and picking up the trash would make Eagle Butte look better.
The project that we (Youth Leaders in Service) are undertaking (again) is painting Public trashcans, mainly the ones at the public playground park and baseball field down at the end of town. Last week we cleaned and primed the trashcans. We also discussed and prepared the designs that we wanted to see on the trashcans.
Journi came up with the wonderful idea of painting an eagle on one of the trashcans. On the trashcan she designed herself, Meta painted cute panda bears using the colors hot pink and purple. These were wonderful ideas that will help bring color, life and vibrancy into our community!
Join us next Tuesday at 6pm (meet at the Teen Center) to do a cleanup at the park and baseball field. We will deliver the beautified trashcans and celebrate with yummy snacks, and have reflective discussions.