A very big part of what we do on the Rez is providing backpacks and school supplies to the children on the Rez. While Backpacks For Pine Ridge is a separate non-profit charity through The Community Foundation and is not limited to any one church or denomination, it is very closely linked to us because it was born out of these mission trips and it continues to be a part of it because we deliver the backpacks when we are out on a mission trip.
Our ultimate goal is to be able to give every child on the Reservation a backpack with school supplies each year. We're a long way from that goal but we are getting closer to it each year.
This year we will be taking 600 backpacks out to 3 villages.
To help raise awareness, support, and funds for this endeavor we hold a community wide music fest each year. This year we are also introducing a 5k walk run. In addition to those the Cincinnati Teamsters Motorcycle Association will be doing a charity bike ride and will be raffling off a 2010 Harley Davidson motorcycle. You can check out all of these events on the Backpacks web site. We are always needing volunteers for both events. You can also see pics on the Backpacks Blog from last weekend when we got some volunteers together to stuff and pack the backpacks.
The thing that makes this so unique is that it draws people from all walks of life. We work with businessmen, community leaders, rock bands, bikers, church people, and even everyday ordinary people like me. For us as believers, its an opportunity ... to let the world see what we're made of.