Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Little Spirits Fund
BeadSpirit Designs
Waterloo, Iowa
I could show you a thousand pictures of poverty on Pine Ridge Reservation South Dakota but would you notice? Probably not because its been done so many times before. Would you be angry if you were native because you feel I’m misrepresenting the good that does go on with new programs on the Reservation? Probably. So what’s the solution? As I have learned, it’s an arduous task & probably considered impossible by many to keep everyone happy in this situation & still help those that want to be helped. So we go on as we have the last 9 years doing what we can to help.
Our direction, as you can see by the name Little Spirits Fund, is to help make a child’s day a little better with more then one diaper change a day & some quality nourishment with mostly organic food. Why organic? Hopefully to establish an imprint on the parent & perhaps some of the older children that there is a difference in the food their eating & what it can do or cannot do for their well being. Good habits start with the young ones & why should it be any different just because you live on a reservation?

In the winter elders are found frozen to death every year unable to pay for heat for their home.  This is unacceptable. This is why we set out on this endeavor as well, to supply heat to elders & single moms with kids. Last year we were able to help 12 elders & families with heat.

So how do we do this? We are a small family with limited income but still manage to put a percentage of all our sales into our Little Spirits Fund. We receive some cash contributions through friends & generous customers via our online store, which has a donation tab for as little as $15, but the majority comes from sales of our handmade Native American & contemporary jewelry. We travel the Midwest doing juried art shows & native gatherings.  However wonderful this sounds, as any artist knows, there is a lot of work making the jewelry, moving equipment, carting & setting up booths, applying to shows with an application fee, paying booth fees, keeping equipment in acceptable condition, expenses-gas, food, fuel & car.

We have family & friends on Pine Ridge so we get direction as to who needs the most assistance. This also tells us what is needed most when we ship every month.

I have learned many things on my own this earth walk but much more from my elders about what life is all about. There comes a point where you finally have an awakening about what they were telling you & who you really are & your true purpose. Being a warrior includes many things, as we tell our son; protecting the people, helping whenever & however you can, giving back to the people, using only what you need & being humble with the successes you have.
Our repeat customers, as well as our new customers humble us every year and we are grateful for any donations we receive. If you wish to make a donation you can do so in two ways. Whenever you buy a piece of our jewelry we automatically take a percentage to our Little Spirits Fund or we have a donation picture on our online store where you can make a $15 contribution. Ashoge/Pilamaya (Thanks) for all your support. Mitakuye Oyasin, BeadSpirit Designs. http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/BeadSpiritDesigns