Our Native American students enjoy living on St. Joseph’s Indian School’s campus, but every now and then a change of scenery is needed.
The high school girls in the Giles Home recently enjoyed an outing to the Regency Retirement Center in Chamberlain, S.D., to spend time with its elderly residents.
During the visit, St. Joseph’s students decorated the center’s dining room with new placemats and centerpieces to add a touch of cheer for the season. The high school girls were happy to join in and play Bingo with the residents, too.
“It is also always a joy to see their smiles and happiness when one of the residents calls out Bingo!” said Giles houseparent, Nancy. “We are never sure who is more excited – the residents or the girls!”
These off-campus experiences are important. It’s true we have a wonderful community on campus, but students will one day venture out into new communities near and far. It’s important they experience stepping out of their comfort zones, into new places and roles.
One of these roles we hope to foster is “the giver.” At St. Joseph’s, one of our many goals for our Native American students is to instill in them a heart for helping others. Whether that’s as big as hosting or helping out with a service project, or as small as playing Bingo with elders for a few hours, it’s important they experience the joy that comes from serving others.
As supporters of St. Joseph’s, we know you understand how good it feels to help the Lakota (Sioux) students at our school. In a sense, your kindness is being paid forward – you help our students and they have opportunities to help others! They can feel that same joy you do.
On top of that, because of your generous support, the work at St. Joseph’s isn’t confined to our campus or even the Chamberlain community. Your generosity to St. Joseph’s touches near and far with our many outreach programs.
For instance, our Bookmobile travels over 3,000 miles distributing free reading materials; we host a summer day camp for students living on the Crow Creek and Lower Brule reservations. On the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, we also provide abused women and children hope, safety and support in times of great need at our women’s shelter, just to name a few.
Pilamaya – thank you – for supporting St. Joseph’s so we can instill our students with a heart for giving.