Our Mission right now is Firewood. Seeing those warmer winter days of February all of a sudden vanish has brought about some panic for some of our elders. When the garage open sign is on we get people coming in who are desperate for help. Whether it is for food or firewood, they all now know the garage is the Base Station for the One Spirit help. Oliver Garnier is a Vietnam Veteran and as the bright rays of the mid-day sun shone in it was sure good to see the old guy come walking in. He hardly ever comes to the garage so I knew this had to be important.
A Veteran in Need
After a long visit he told me why he was in town, the cold. He said he ran out of firewood and had to stay the night at a friend’s already overcrowded house in Pine Ridge. Oliver had hoped we could help him with some firewood and some food, it’s what he needed to be able to go home. A Vietnam Vet and community elder, he lives alone secluded and with honor as the people respect our old warriors. The veterans are considered high on the One Spirit priority list to help alongside Elders, and Handicappeds.
The People Need Wood
After visiting with Oliver and letting him know we will be coming out there with the wood as soon as possible, another call coming in showed a similar situation. A young girl out of propane had only hopes for her wood stove to heat the house. She was there with her children and no parents.
Another situation came in on a text message. Robert Stover, west of Pine Ridge is in the hospital in Rapid City. Some infection and this sounded serious as they had an IV that went straight to his heart. It was said he will be in there for up to six weeks. Meanwhile his family is alone.
Low on Funding
There were two more people calling in but I was told to hold off on all wood deliveries due to lack of funding for gas to get us out there. Our woodpile is good. We have been to the Black Hills with a semi-truck and we got a big semi flatbed load. However we are in a low funding situation, so basically we got the wood but no funds to deliver.
The second half of winter is usually the coldest and we get those March blizzards, thankful we are not getting what the people got out east. This is a rural area. Here we don’t have the resources to clear roads and we stay snowed in for days. I hope we can get some funding so we can get this wood out and get those folks in need some warmth. As I am writing this, Oliver just called again. I got to do something, here we go One Spirit! Thank you to whoever will help.
You Can Help
In addition to the people Bamm describes above we have 4 more who are elders and much in need of wood. Two of them are burning clothes to stay warm.