Thinking about water....

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by BigHussy, Jan 30, 2020.

  1. BigHussy

    BigHussy Tenacious Gamer Tenacious Gamer

    Jun 25, 2018
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    Hey all,

    I've been thinking about charity lately. There is a lot of things I like to donate money/time/effort towards and sometimes its hard to decide where to put my energy.

    Recently I was reading a few articles floating around the news in my hometown, and I found out there is an organization that is providing access to water for residents at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. This is not my reservation, I am from the Lake Traverse Reservation. But they are close to us, and I have relatives that live there.

    It's true they do not have access to clean water, they have a much smaller casino, and a lot of the residents do not have access to water or plumbing. Period. A lot of the residents save up plastic buckets and walk to the nearest creek to get daily water for cooking, cleaning, everything. Growing up I thought this was normal. I thought poverty was just the way it is, especially when I was younger. I knew I was a lucky kid, I grew up with my grandparents on their farm. We had food and running water because my grandfather saved up and built the house with plumbing on our farm. He and my uncles built our barn, our foundation, everything. It's not unheard of to go to someone's house you don't know and see if they need help. We built things for people, we offered food and clothes, we offered rides in and out of town. If a farmer needed help catching up we worked their cattle and sometimes their fields. If someone was unable to take care of their child my grandmother took them in, and they were considered my sibling for the time they stayed with us. My grandparents taught me a lot about what it means to give. It wasn't something they did once in a while, they lived with giving.

    When I moved away and started college, I was amazed at the convenience at our fingertips. We can drive to the grocery store in a few short minutes. We have water, heat, everything. Even my worst apartment was great here. I loved it.

    Looking back, I wonder where I should be now. What should take my energy and effort? There are still people on the other reservation who can't get something as simple as water. And we have a phrase of understanding back home, "Mni Wiconi." Mni means water, and Wiconi means life. Water is life.

    Dakota people live by a set of values. One of these values is Wauƞṡida, it means compassion. The foundation of our Dakota ̣ spiritual lifeways was the concept of Wauƞṡida, compassion. It teaches us to treat everyone as a wotakuye, relative, and as such we were to be compassionate with one another, to be a good relative. Everything you do is done in a good way—from using the language in a respectful, kind way, to your actions—to not make anyone feel bad.

    I think I should have been focusing on this much sooner, but better late than never. At least I finally understood what my grandparents were trying to teach me. They weren't just teaching me a concept. They were teaching me how to live.

    I was thinking about putting together a 5k, not sure how to do that, but I am going to do some research. I would like to figure out a way to raise funds for Running Strong for American Indian Youth, they are the organization that has been hooking up clean water for residents on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

    If anyone knows how to start the process of hosting a fundraising 5k, please let me know. For now, research.


    Big Huss
    Mishi, Namru and Within like this.
  2. TartFlavor

    TartFlavor At least I'm not Loanwolf Website Administrator Legendary Gamer Veteran Member

    Sep 3, 2014
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    I actually know a bit about the Pine Ridge Reservation, as I did some research on the Wounded Knee Incident and AIM in college. Due partially to massive corruption (look up Dick Wilson if you want to read some real shit - he ran a private militia who named themselves GOONs) and the apathy of the federal government, the infrastructure on the reservation is absolutely fucked. Native Americans face the highest rate of poverty in the United States by a shitload, and issues are often ignored in the mainstream media due to American Indians often being seen as a minor demographic.

    I wish I could be more help but honestly I don't know too much about fundraising. However, I did volunteer at a local 8k in grade school to support the local school system. It was a big production - probably had at least 30 sponsors (mostly local businesses, but some larger companies that had branches in the area). Pretty much all the charity races I've seen have a decent amount of money behind them, with professional production. It may be difficult to organize one without the backing of a large charity that can provide that.

    Anyways, what you're trying to do sounds super awesome - I hope you manage to work it out!

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