Recently, portions of the Midwest have been hit by severe weather, including snow storms and intensive flooding. Unfortunately, many people are still experiencing ongoing, devastating effects from this weather, especially Native Americans residing on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Many living on the reservation are currently trapped there because of the weather-induced destruction — and are in dire need of assistance. For those looking for information on how to help the Pine Ridge Reservation recover, there's now a comprehensive website detailing how you can contribute your time and resources.
Across the Midwest, dozens of communities have experienced devastating floods over the past ten days, the New York Times reported. For those living on the Pine Ridge Reservation, the effects have been particularly catastrophic. As KNBN NewsCenter 1, an NBC affiliate, described, warming weather and melting snow have caused severe flooding on the reservation, which is hazardous for both residents and rescue workers. Many families are trapped in their homes with limited access to food and water — and fast-moving flood waters pose dangers for those trying to rescue them, the outlet added. As the New York Times reported on March 24, some families have been trapped on the reservation for almost two weeks.
In response to the crisis on the Pine Ridge Reservation, local community members and the Oglala Sioux Tribe, which administers the reservation, set up a website establishing the Pine Ridge Reservation Emergency Relief organization. The website notes that Pine Ridge Reservation Emergency Relief is "dedicated to funding and delivering charitable services and goods" and "strive[s] to inspire and improve the lives of those who need assistance in times of emergencies and natural disasters."
The website offers guidance on how people can best help those on the reservation. First, it suggests donating to the emergency relief fund via PayPal and offers a link to the organization's donation account. The website notes that donations will be used to fund "water, food, and supplies for the families stranded in their homes or displaced due to the flooding."
Anyone interested in volunteering their time to help those on the Pine Ridge Reservation can also sign up to do so online. The website offers an email address to which potential volunteers can send their names and phone numbers. Finally, for those looking for additional ways to help, the site also suggests contacting Peri Pourier, the organization's Executive Director and a South Dakota House representative, whose email and phone number are listed on the organization's website.
In an interview with Nexstar Media Group, Pourier expressed deep gratitude to those who have stepped up to help the Pine Ridge Reservation thus far. "We have a lot of volunteers that are coming from the different communities, some volunteers within the communities are helping their respected communities," Pourier told the outlet. "We're getting an overflow of support, we love that and we thank you and it's a very positive feeling knowing there's people out there that want to help."
Those who live on the Pine Ridge Reservation are certainly in urgent need of assistance. If you are able to offer your time and resources to them, consider visiting the Pine Ridge Reservation Emergency Relief webpage to help you determine the best way you can contribute.