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The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation - Dell Big Crow Holiday Gift Project

December 14, 2011

The Pine Ridge Holiday Gift Project is underway! This year the project holds a very special place in our hearts due to the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Dell Big Crow.

Julie Ann Sullivan (left) with Pine Ridge resident Nellie Buckman, an 82-year-old Lakotan who has lived on the reservation all her life and who helps develop wish lists and deliver gifts.Dell Big Crow was a teacher at the Pine Ridge Elementary School and has worked with us for the past several years on the annual coat drive and the gift project. In her honor we have adopted a new name, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation - Dell Big Crow Holiday Gift Project.

As you may know, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is one of the most impoverished and marginalized regions in the United States. While we seek to address the underlying causes of poverty on Pine Ridge, we also recognize the importance of building connections between people on and off the reservation. We continue to work on the reservation throughout the year with Service Learning Projects, a winter coat drive, providing families with firewood, and coordinating the Holiday Gift Project.

Recently ABC News and Diane Sawyer did a Special 20/20 Edition on Pine Ridge called, “Hidden America: Children of the Plains.”

View the episode

We have been coordinating the Pine Ridge Holiday Gift Project for eight years now. This year we are working with reservation grammar school teachers and counselors, community organizers, the Lakota Head Start program, Homeless Youth Center, and the Homeless Veterans’ Center in order to identify children and elders with the greatest needs.

Mato opens a present given to him by the Pine Ridge gift project last year.Last year, thanks to the generosity of the CSU community, friends, family, and hundreds of new donors the Holiday Gift Project provided gifts to more than 600 children and elders on the reservation! Donors forwarded the original project letter on to their friends, families, and colleagues and we received responses from all over the U.S. as well as Germany, Australia, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, France, Japan, and Canada!

This year we have over 1,000 names of children and elders in need. We’d like to invite the CSU community to once again contribute a holiday gift for a child or elder this year.

If you are interested, please email either Julie Sullivan at or Chris Bartholomew at and we’ll send you the information you need to spread a little holiday cheer to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Thank you for your generosity!

Julie Ann Sullivan
Christine Bartholomew

Pine Ridge Indian Reservation – Dell Big Crow Holiday Gift Project Facebook page

Contact: Chris Bartholomew
Phone: 491-5095