For over 20 years, St. Joseph’s Indian School’s Thrift Store has provided outreach support to several South Dakota communities including Eagle Butte, Wanblee, Okreek, Fort Thompson, Martin, Kyle, Allen, Mission and Potato Creek. The program typically visits each community three to four times each year, sometimes more if there is an increase in donations.
The lengthy but rewarding process starts by sorting out donations and packing boxes to be delivered to each community. Thrift Store Support Robin spends several days coordinating the donations, boxing up over 400 boxes of donated items and loading a trailer packed to the ceiling to make the journey across the state.
Robin has taken several trips across the state to provide clothing items, household goods, toys and toiletries, but one memory still makes her heart smile.
“One little boy, no older than two, in just a diaper, wanted to help us unload the trailer, so we quickly found something light for him to carry. At the end, he sat down and opened the box and found a red shirt (a wee bit small) and put it on to show it off. This little boy was beaming from ear to ear,” said Robin.
Although these trips have tallied several hours and crossed hundreds of miles, Robin still finds this job to be quite rewarding. The appreciation shown by those who receive the deliveries makes it all worth it!
St. Joseph’s Thrift Store feels that sharing gifts with these outreach communities is especially important to areas with limited access to shopping centers. Donations including clothing, bedding, toiletries, school supplies, toys and kitchenware are appreciated and are always needed by families across South Dakota. Donations can be dropped off at the St. Joseph’s Thrift Store dropbox location at the school and any donation areas in the communities.