As you know, this winter has been terribly cold for most of the country. Temperatures in the Dakotas have been particularly frigid, with temperatures going down as far as 30 below zero, without the windchill.
This has meant that many people on reservations have had difficulty heating their houses this winter, particularly the elders. Many of them ran out of propane weeks ago, and began heating their homes with their electric stoves, which caused their electric bills to skyrocket. The electric company was close to turning off the electricity for many of them. Others were on the verge of running out of propane.
One elderly couple was in particular trouble because the wife had just fallen and broken her leg and was recovering at home....at a freezing home.
On top of this, federal home heating assistance has been a victim of funding cuts, leaving tribes unable to provide real assistance, and there is a national shortage of propane, which has caused prices to skyrocket.
Last week, the Tribe appealed to Okiciyap for help because it is out of heating assistance funds.
Because of your donations, the pantry director was able to intervene with the electric and propane companies on behalf of 23 elders in Isabel, SD. Keeping the electricity on and providing them with full tanks of propane cost $3000.
Okiciyap now needs to replenish this fund it can continue to assist the elders with heating costs this winter.