Pilamaya – thank you so much

Natalie with her new Christmas gift.
Natalie loves her new gift!

Hey everyone! Jona here, from the Development office.

As you know from our other bloggers, St. Joseph’s Christmas celebration was a huge success – thank you so much!

In my role, I get to play a big part in Christmas on campus. I start by collecting wish lists from our Native American students in the fall.

As Christmas approaches, I am the lucky one who opens the boxes of gifts as they arrive. I check to see that nothing has been damaged in shipping (broken Christmas presents are no fun) and send the boxes on to the appropriate houseparent to be wrapped for the boys and girls. I am continually amazed at how thoughtful and generous you are with our students.

It seems corny to say that your work brings you joy but, year after year, it is this task that truly puts the Christmas spirit in my heart.

After the celebration, thank you notes from the students are sent to me, and my Christmas joy is renewed again! My desk is stacked with lovely notes from grateful children, drawings of their favorite toy and pictures of the celebration.

In the mail they go to those who made St. Joseph’s Indian School a special part of their Christmas tradition.

So many notes from the children are brutally honest,

“if not for you, I would have gotten nothing for Christmas.”

But also so unabashedly appreciative,

“I’m so happy there are people like you.”

As one second-grade girl wrote,

“I pray for an angel to bless you every day.”

She couldn’t have said it better. We pray for angels to bless you every day. Thank you for making our Christmas celebration so special!


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.

2 thoughts on “Pilamaya – thank you so much”

  1. Jona, By being able to say your job bring you joy, you are truly blessed! And your job is bringing joy to a lot of other people as well. Thank you for a job well done! God bless all at St. Joseph’s!

  2. Jona, what a wonderful job, and – I’m sure a challenging one!
    Remember the prayer of St. Theresa of Avila

    Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
    no hands but yours,
    no feet but yours,
    Yours are the eyes through which to look out
    Christ’s compassion to the world
    Yours are the feet with which he is to go about
    doing good;
    Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men [and women and children] now….. [brackets are mine]


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