December 18, 2012 –
MAYETTA: Christmas is just around the corner and the Prairie Band community has been organizing several gift drives for those in need or to let soldiers and students who are working hard in school know that the PBPN are thinking of them.
Yesterday Christmas packages were assembled and mailed to active PBPN military soldiers that was sponsored by Tribal Council, and the week before Tribal Council members Carrie O’Toole and Hattie Mitchell , along with several other PBPN members, drove over a 1,000 coats to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The coat drive was part of a casino marketing effort and some of the donated coats went to the PBPN community as well.
Other departments like the PBPN Social Services Department is sponsoring a TOY DRIVE to support community children and families in collaboration with the Prairie Band Casino & Resort, local businesses, valuable community members, and the Nation’s employees. Over 30 families will receive a nice Christmas for their children through the TOY DRIVE outreach. In addition, the Early Childhood Education Center is helping those in need through a Christmas Family Adoption gift drive where five families within the PBPN community will be given gifts through purchased -item donations established via an ornament tree located in the Center’s lobby.
The Education Department also decided to send care-packages full of goodies to college students and received items to be placed in the package from the Boys & Girls Club, Child Support Services, Fire Department, Dental Clinic, Gaming Commission, Early Childhood Education Center and the Tribal Council.
Another worthy effort that deserves mention was a community blood drive held Dec. 7 at the Health Center that was coordinated by Verna Simon, Executive Administrative Assistant for the Health Center, who worked with staff from the Community Blood Center of Topeka.
For good old fashion fun, buildings on the reservation have been decorated for Christmas and there are lots of department parties and festivities taking place.
Lastly, to kick off the New Year right, programs within the Social Services Department along with the PBPN Boys & Girls Club, and Diabetes Prevention Program will also host a Big Bear Moon Traditional sobriety pow-wow New Year’s eve at the Bingo Hall that begins with a dinner at 6 p.m.
Below are some photos taken of the activities that have taken place:
Logan Boswell helped decorate the tree in the Government Center lobby which is one of the areas where donation boxes were set up for the various gift and coat drives held this season.
From left to right, Carrie O’Toole, Richele Pahmahmie, Jonathan Potts, Gea Aitkens, and Tina Levier loaded up coats the day before they drove to Pine Ridge.
The coats being distributed in Pine Ridge.
A group photo taken at the Pine Ridge Administration office in South Dakota.
The Education Department stuffing boxes of goodies for the students. From left to right, is Stephanie Jim, Kristina Matsapto and Kristen Aitkens.
The student boxes contained Education Department t-shirts and notebooks and lots of things to eat.
Boxes for active PBPN soldiers were stuffed by Tribal Council administrative assistants, the assistant general manager, and members of Tribal Council in Council chambers yesterday.
Carrie O’Toole loading the boxes that were ready for mailing.