Students and community members can keep South Dakotaâ€™s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation warm this winter by donating to this yearâ€™s Pine Ridge Reservation Coat Drive.
People can donate coats, hats, gloves, socks and winter wear until Dec. 3 to the reservation, which cannot provide enough winter clothing for children K-12.
The Key Service portion of Colorado State University’s Key Community group â€“â€“ called Stories of the Human Experience, which consists of 19 students â€“â€“ is holding the drive to support the reservation.
Back in September, students and CSU professors Christine Bartholomew, of the Journalism and Technical Communication Department, and Julie Sullivan, of the Ethnic Studies Department, traveled to southwestern South Dakota to visit the reservation.
â€œJulie (Sullivan) goes up there once or twice a year. Itâ€™s a promise that sheâ€™s given them to provide them with this coat drive and to help out with the community,â€ said Christof Bentele, a freshman psychology major.
Bentele, who traveled with the Key Service group, said the trip gave the group a greater understanding of the Native American culture.
This organization is only collecting winter items because the people within the reserve are in larger need of winter clothing during this time of year.
â€œThey donâ€™t have enough coats. They have a lot of warm clothes but donâ€™t have a lot of winter (clothing),â€ Bentele said.
After collecting about 800 coats last year, the Key Service group hopes to exceed this amount and give the reservation much more.
The group will make a trip over Thanksgiving break to give the coats collected thus far to the reserve. They will also take a later trip to give the reservation the additional coats donated after break.
During the trip, Key Service distributes the donations to teachers of the schools within the reserve.
â€œWe give (the coats) to the teachers because they know which kids need them the most,â€ Bentele said.
Staff writer Kari Pills can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look for donations at:
- Braiden Hall
- Clark Building A-wing
- Clark Building C-wing
- Eddy Building
- Lory Student Center
- Morgan Library
- TILT Building
- Alley Cat Coffee Shop