ChrIstmas Cheer From The Midwest
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SMSC Donates $229,600 To Brighten Holidays
by Tessa Lehto
Prior Lake, MN – To share in the holiday spirit and make the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays a little brighter for those who are less fortunate, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community awarded $229,600 in charitable donations for the 2010 holiday season. The donations, which went to 43 social service organizations mostly in the Twin Cities, are providing toys, clothing, food, activities, and other gifts for families this holiday season.
“The holiday season can be hard for those who are less fortunate so we like to help out where we can. We've been blessed, and we're grateful for the opportunity to help others,” said SMSC Chairman Stanley Crooks.
The largest amount given to one organization was $20,000 to the CAP Agency in Shakopee, Minnesota, serving Scott, Dakota, and Carver Counties for their annual Christmas programs for families needing assistance. The CAP Agency is a non-profit organization serving children, families, and senior citizens. The SMSC grant supports the CAP Agency Hope for the Holidays annual “adopt-a-family” holiday gift sponsorship project.
Parents are invited to create a wish list for each member of the family so that each child receives their special gift and the parents have the joy of giving it to them. In 2009 the program was able to provide gifts for 3,517 individuals from 998 families.
The project also makes gifts available for families that are not able to register. In addition, the CAP Agency provides a wide variety of services to help meet other needs that families have during the holidays, including food.
“The generous contributions of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community have been critical to the success of this program,” wrote CAP Executive Director Carolina Bradpiece.
The Salvation Army in Minneapolis received $12,000 for their Thanksgiving and Christmas meals and gifts. The Little Earth Residents Association in Minneapolis received $12,500 for their holiday program.
A $10,000 donation was also made to Union Gospel Mission, the Minneapolis American Indian Center, and the American Indian Family Center for the holidays.
The Department of Indian Works (St. Paul) and the Dorothy Day Center each received a donation of $9,000 for their holiday programs. The Division of Indian Work in Minneapolis received $8,000 for their program.
Women of Nations received $7,000, and Kateri Residence received $6,500, both of the Twin Cities area. St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota, received $6,000 as did People Serving People of Minneapolis.
On the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, the Yankton Sioux Tribe received $7,000 for turkeys and $5,000 for the Housing Authority.
Other organizations in the Twin Cities receiving SMSC holiday donations are: 360 Communities, Ain Dah Yung, Akina Community Church, All Nations Indian Church, American Indian Services, the Carver Scott Educational Coop, Elders Lodge, First Nations Recovery Center, Intertribal Elders Services, Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center, Minnesota Compassion, St. Joseph's Home for Children, the Prior Lake Lion's Club, and Upper Midwest American Indian Center.
In areas outside the Twin Cities, the SMSC made holiday donations to: Ain Day Ing, Bad River Head Start, Boys & Girls Club of the Three Districts, Boys & Girls Club of Lower Brule, Brown’s Valley Family Service Center, the Cass Lake Family Center, the Cheyenne Children Services, the Cheyenne River Youth Projects, Fond du Lac College Human Services Club, the Haskell Off-Campus Club, He Sapa New Life Ministries, Indian Youth of America, Sisseton Toys for Tots Committee, and Tiwahe Wakan.
The SMSC will also donate grocery gift cards to low-income Native American families living in Scott County. In addition to the financial contributions, SMSC members and staff participate in a Giving Tree Program, which gives presents anonymously to children in Native American families in need that live in the county.
About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community The SMSC utilizes its financial resources from gaming and non-gaming enterprises to pay for the internal infrastructure of the Tribe, including but not limited to roads, water and sewer systems, emergency services, and essential services to its Tribal members in education, health, and welfare.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has a charitable giving program which comes from a cultural and social tradition to assist those in need. Over the past 13 years, the SMSC has donated more than $192.7 million to charitable organizations and Indian Tribes and Native American organizations.
The SMSC has also made more than $389 million in loans to other tribes for economic development projects. Since 1996 the SMSC paid more than $6.6 million for shared local road construction projects and an additional $5 million for road projects on the reservation.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, a federally recognized Indian Tribe in Minnesota, is the owner and operator of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Little Six Casino, Playworks, Dakotah! Sport and Fitness, The Meadows at Mystic Lake, and other enterprises on a reservation south of the Twin Cities.
This press release and other information may be downloaded from the SMSC website at www.shakopeedakota.org.
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