Because children live and learn at St. Joseph’s Indian School, they end up spending quite a bit of time on campus. Everything is here! All of
their needs are met in one place!
Although this is wonderful, it is also important to provide students with opportunities to experience new communities and involvements off campus. It’s important for them to broaden their horizons and minds to
other places and cultures.
One of the ways this is accomplished is through home trips. Campus families — usually 12 children and two houseparents — pack their bags and hit the road to places like the Black Hills, Rapid City or Sioux Falls in South Dakota. Each place is 175-225 miles away, so they make for the perfect weekend getaway. These areas are also very scenic and include child friendly attractions.
The children are always so excited to go and experience new things and try new foods at restaurants where they have never been. The children are grateful for their home trips and consider them a wóyawašte — blessing.
While our Summerlee Home girls were enjoying the blessing of one such trip, something out of the ordinary happened — something unexpected. The fourth through sixth grade girls in this home were able to be a
blessing to someone else …
Their houseparent, Jared, told this story:
While we were coming back from our home trip, we stopped to eat at McDonald’s. The girls noticed a homeless woman and her dog sitting on the curb. The girls were so concerned about them and decided that they wanted to give her some money and food. The girls all pitched in together out of their own money and raised about $8 or $10 that they wanted her to have. They also loaded her up with drinks and snacks — giving up their own.
I gave everything to the woman just to be safe and protect the kids. But, I told her that there were a bunch of little girls who cared about her and wanted to share their blessings with her. I then prayed for the woman and her dog. She was very touched by the girls’ wačháŋtognaka — generosity.
I don’t think I have ever felt more proud of our girls, and I let them know it. Everything we have sown into them is now coming to fruition, and it is so beautiful to experience. Go Summerlee!!!
Generosity is one of the Seven Lakota Values. The Lakota word for generosity means to contribute to the well-being of one’s people and all life by sharing and giving freely. This sharing is not just of objects and possessions, but of emotions like sympathy, compassion and kindness. It also means to be generous with one’s personal time.
The girls used their allowance money to bless someone else. Their hearts reached out to someone else and did something big. How many other children do you know who would do the same thing so willingly and without a second thought? How many adults?
Thankfully, we can think of 200 Native American children who would: Our beautiful students. We can also think of an adult who would also reach out to others in need: YOU! Every time you support our school, you embody the image of generosity. Philámayaye — thank you!
To learn more about St. Joseph’s Indian School, visit www.stjo.org today!
2 thoughts on “St. Joseph’s Students Give Back to Someone in Need, Learn Meaning of Generosity”
How beautiful and kind of the girls to live what they learn! God bless you all! I feel proud of them, too!
AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE IT IS WONDERFUL TO KNOW THAT GENEROUS HEARTS HAVE ALREADY BEEN INSTILLED IN THESE CHILDREN,