Looking out for their every need at St. Joseph’s Indian School

Neoma, St. Joseph's Director of Integrated Marketing
Neoma, St. Joseph’s Director of Integrated Marketing

Working in St. Joseph’s Development office, in Marketing, I don’t often get chances to spend time with the Lakota students in our care. So, when Staci (one of our Residential Coordinators) called to ask if I would join another woman to teach the girls about make-up application, I was thrilled … then I was scared.

Who was I to teach sixth graders about this? I’m just in Marketing. Sure I wear make-up, but I don’t run a salon or sell cosmetics. Heck, I have never even raised a girl to teach her these important things. The closest I get is applying Clearasil on the “special” spots on my 13-year-old son’s face.

But when I got to the Pinger home, all the fears subsided. Eleven wide-eyed girls were gathered around two tables eager to hear what I had to say.

As you might expect, the favorite question for the next hour was “when can we start wearing make-up?” I giggled every time because Staci, Residential Coordinator, and Sherry, Family Service Counselor, started us off saying “we haven’t yet decided when you can start wearing make-up, but listening to Neoma and Laura is the first step.”

My cohort, Laura, was a champ as she was the model for the demonstration. Just for the fun of it, the girls and I decided to only do the left half of her face. She later went home like that wondering if any of the three boys in her family would notice.

We had a nice give and take, talking about washing your face, applying make-up sparingly and that it is okay not to wear make-up. We emphasized that each girl is beautiful just the way they are.

It warmed my heart to spend this special time with them.

It again made me thankful that the staff at St. Joseph’s look out for every need of our students, from keeping them fed to keeping them distinguished and prepared to face the world. It also made me very thankful for the donors who make all of this possible.

When I started at St. Joseph’s 17 years ago, I worked in the office that opens mail and processes donor gifts. Once we received a strange amount on a check (something like $3.21), so I called the donor to make sure it was right. My heart melted as the older woman told me this was all that was left in her checking account when she wrote her check. I could imagine my mother or grandmother doing the same thing. I think of this conversation often and it always reminds me to never take a gift, in any amount, for granted. For a gift that is given from the heart, no matter the amount, can change a life … I’ve seen it happen here at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

May your days be filled with warm hearts, good health and a clear mind in 2015.

If you have never visited our campus, make 2015 the year you do! And when you are on campus and see some young girls with just the right amount of make-up on … or maybe none at all … let them know how beautiful they are.

Blessings to you and yours,