February reminds us of love, support, and caring for one another. It also reminds us that there are so many people in the world who are hurting. We would like to highlight two other organizations doing great things for others: the Missouri Valley Crisis Center and the BEAR project.
The Missouri Valley Crisis Center
Native Hope celebrates the efforts of the Missouri Valley Crisis Center of Chamberlain, SD, in its creation of the No More Secrets Support Group, peer support for survivors of sexual assault. The group is the only one of its kind in central South Dakota and meets weekly on Wednesdays at 6:30 at the Cozard Memorial Library in Chamberlain.
“Finally, I have decided to ‘just get over it’—something my perpetrator told me to do—and help others embrace the suck, ”explains Kimberly Koster, a survivor and co-founder of the support group. “We need people to know that they have a safe place to talk and share.” The group does not replace professional counseling or therapy but offers a safe place for women to share things and support one another in a non-judgmental context. If you know someone who would benefit by attending this or another support group, encourage them to open up and begin the healing.
Tiny DeCory's BEAR Project
In another corner of South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Native Hope applauds the BEAR project’s mission as they plan to deliver 500 Valentines to the children of Pine Ridge; this is their fourth year sharing hope. Tiny DeCory, the BEAR program founder and past Native Hope Fellow, knows the importance of letting the kids on her reservation know that they are loved. While the acronym BEAR stands for Be Excited About Reading, the program is about so much more. It focuses on the essence of belonging by providing kids the armor they need to be strong and know their worth. Tiny, Eileen, and the troupe combat suicide on a daily basis. How? By taking the time to listen. By offering kindness and support. By just being there!
Thank you to all who work to Give Hope and Share Love
A big thank you to all who are working to make not only Indian Country but also the world a better place. If you’d like to be a part of making a difference this Valentine’s Day, take time to express love and concern for those who need it most.
Please join us this Valentine’s Day as we aim to deliver 214 messages of hope and love in order to make a difference for those who need to know we care. It only takes one message to save a life.