A gift of life

We experienced sadness today on campus. We heard that after an illness that has lasted a few months, one of our long time staff members, Jerry Vaad, died this evening. He worked in the Rec Center and drove the bus to games and always encouraged our kids in so many ways. He had a heart of gold and will truly be missed.

Another one of our former houseparents, Dot, died a few weeks ago, and this was the evening the high school girls who knew her picked to have a memorial prayer service outside the home by the garden Dot loved to work in.  Roz is in college now, but working here for part of the summer, and she stopped in as well. Mark played a drum song in her honor, and we gave folks who knew her, the chance to offer a few words of remembrance. I said a prayer and blessed the soil and plants with Holy Water. As they grow and thrive, it is a reminder of the new life that springs from the grain of wheat that must die.

As girls recalled the hope and levity Dot brought to their home, it was obvious that she shared with them a gift of life.

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 90 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.

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