There are experiences in life that you may consider pivotal--perhaps because of the people you were with, the value you believe you gave or gained or maybe how it changed your outlook on life. My volunteer experience with Global Volunteers on the Rosebud Reservation encompassed all of those. I am forever grateful.
Two friends and I volunteered together. We had no idea what to expect when we arrived in the little town of Mission, South Dakota, on the Rosebud Reservation. Our host was Mother Lauren Stanley, an Episcopal priest who serves the local Lakota population. We were not surprised to learn that life was not easy on the Reservation. Mother Lauren arranged a meaningful array of ways we could help and participate with the local community beginning with attending a church service and lunch with the congregation. We had such an amazing variety of service projects. We helped with renovating the local Women's shelter under the guidance of locals Billy and Danny, and helping, Lindsey, the Director of the White Buffalo Calf Women's Society, organize the Women's thrift store. The facility was established in 1977 by Native Americans for Naative American Women and was the first of its kind in the United States. We had such a blast working with the children in the GLORY Program (God Loves Our Rosebud Youth) one evening. We had a wonderful selection of guest lecturers who shared their knowledge and wisdom with us. We took an extremely meaningful and unexpectedly emotional field trip to Wounded Knee Massacre site. We danced with Sage Eagle (using the term danced very loosely), admired amazing beading shared by Hattie, ate delicious food prepared by Billy and his daughter Rachel, and, visited a nearby quilting factory. We also worked at the Rosebud Economic Development garden with Aaron, an amazing project aimed at developing food sources. A personal highlight was our visit and tour of the local Middle School to delivery backpacks we had brought to support a project of sharing food with students. There were several teachers on our team and everyone was absolutely blown away by the programs the Principal, Dana, had put in place. I could go on. In fact, I have to anyone who would listen There is no way to describe everything we learned, all the amazing people we met, our extraordinary team, and the sacred place the Rosebud Reservation holds in our hearts. Yep, a pivotal experience. I highly recommend you give yourself the gift of this experience.
What would you improve about this program?
Can't think of anything--the program was well planned. We had all the information needed. Most important, we had an AMAZING Team Leader, Kathy.