Our National Spokesperson, Olympic champion Billy Mills (Oglala Lakota), travels to native communities throughout the nation inspiring American Indian children to follow their dreams. In 2011, Christian Relief Services and its affiliate, Running Strong for American Indian Youth®, provided monthly, holiday and supplemental food to four American Indian run food programs and youth programs with a total of 378,000 pounds of food distributed for the year. 6,048 turkeys were distributed for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays. We also provided 2,800 new winter coats, 2,700 new blankets, 2,628 pairs of new shoes, 3,000 hygiene kits, 3,328 school supply kits and 3,600 new toys. We also assisted with a summer youth feeding project and a backpack food program on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. Over 35,000 individuals in South Dakota and Montana were assisted for the year.
Emergency Assistance and Funding for Water, Shelter, Youth and Gardening
Through our affiliate, Running Strong for American Indian Youth®, we continued to provide nutritious food and clean water to American Indian Families, especially on the Cheyenne River Sioux, Pine Ridge and Crow Indian Reservations. Our water development program drilled six new water wells. We provided support to youth athletic and cultural events, and organic gardening and housing programs. We also provided emergency heat assistance, gave backpacks full of food and provided summer lunches, supported cultural and language preservation programs and various other important projects. 40,000 individuals in Iowa, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Montana, Minnesota, Oklahoma and South Dakota were assisted.