Dogs Days and New Beginnings

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It’s the hottest part of the summer, and today, I was asked to write a few words for the Christmas cards! I had a hard time thinking about snow and long cold nights!

Since our own Tipi Press Printing office designs and prints the materials we need on campus, we have to give them some good lead time. They produce great materials from cards and notepads to newsletters and bookmarks.

But, I did feel like Santa Claus in another way.

St. Joseph’s makes several trips across the country each year for donor appreciation luncheons. Our students are very excited when they are selected to see a place they’ve never been and talk about their experience at St. Joseph’s.

Today, I lined up chaperones for future donor events. When I asked staff if they’d be willing to go, they got just as excited as the kids. Asking people to do something they’re tickled about felt like I was passing out presents.

 Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Besides staff training and orientation, there is a blur of activity around campus. Time is given each day for teachers to work on setting up their classrooms, and houseparents to make sure everything in their homes is student ready.

Another by-product of the blur as everyone returns is a huge increase in the amount of work orders (RQs) our maintenance department has to handle. The facilities crew is scurrying about campus trying to fix and help. But, they also have to set priorities and know that hanging a bulletin board may need to take a backseat to fixing an old pipe that is leaking through to the ceiling tiles on the floor below.

As everyone comes together and there are competing demands for time and resources, tensions and stress can arise. Some days we all battle impatience and can have misunderstandings and personality clashes. It’s part of our human nature. We try to handle those as they arise, and be good models to the children we serve.

For me, it’s the quiet times of prayer and reflection that give me the strength to handle the stress and keep on the right path.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

This afternoon, I stopped at Central Receiving to say hello to  Lucy, whom I met at Hope Lodge.

She dropped off a load of children’s bikes she had refurbished. Lucy caringly matched helmets that she thought would go with each of the bikes.

Since the houseparents are wearing a path to the door of Central to stock up on supplies for the new year, we left the bikes outside. In short order, they had all found new homes in one of our 19 homes on campus. They  will surely already be in use Sunday afternoon when the students arrive!

At Central, Cathy and Glenda sort and organize all the donations that arrive on campus. Some come through the mail, while others come when friends load up their car or camper and drop them off when they visit campus. The work can be taxing over the summer months, but seeing the houseparents’ appreciation in finding so much of what they need in our own on campus “store” it makes it worth the effort.

Tonight, was our beginning of the year staff picnic at the pavilion on campus. The weather didn’t cooperate with us as the temperatures were in the high 90’s, which kept some of the crowd down.

Still, many spouses, children and relatives of staff joined us to break bread (at least hot dog buns) and share companionship.  Besides working hard, there’s such value in just coming together for a shared meal and some fun.

At events like this, I visit all the picnic tables and say hello and get to know the families. My leg forced me to do that in much shorter time periods this evening. It’s actually easier for me to walk than stand around. I hadn’t seen some of the staff’s children for a year and hardly recognized them as they’ve changed so much! Getting to know families of our new staff is a special pleasure during events like this.

I enjoyed the evening and feel like we are already on our way to a successful school year!

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph’s Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 89 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

4 thoughts on “Dogs Days and New Beginnings”

  1. YOU, YALL’- are definitely on your way to another SUCCESSFUL year. I am so PROUD when I read ALL of the up-dates sent to me. They truly make me smile, and my day worth so much. I know that your foot will completely recover also, OUR BODIES heal at their own pace, and our age determines allot of that; I know because I am 59 1/2 and was always bunged up as a kid, but healed over-night.—I am truly excited for all that I have read, and wish so much I was there to help…..I truly mean that.
    My LOVE IS SENT, ALONG WITH MY PRAYERS, for everyone. Now for you;… continue to heal and make the 100% recovery WE ALL KNOW is happening—for OUR BLESSINGS also.
    GOD BLESS’-
    Cynthia

  2. The Church moves through you as the living organism it is, Father Steve, and touches life with Truth.
    This is so evident and so encouraging to the rest of us out here..
    You have no idea..!
    Prayers and Hugs, Mia Archer

  3. Fr.Steveyou are always so busy and full of energy.May God continue to heal and strengthen you as you work and bring love and happiness to all your children.I continue to pray for you and the chldren.God bless you
    Teddy

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