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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

ONE Spirit

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Ethnic & Immigrant Centers, Human Services, Immigration

Mission: The ONE Spirit Mission is to assist the Lakota people in preserving and revitalizing the Lakota culture, language, and self-sufficiency while meeting the basic needs of Lakota families, children, and elders. We strive to cultivate an intercultural relationship that recognizes that we are all related and that American Indians are an equal and valued part of our society.

Results: Food delivered monthly to the homes of 3000 people on the reservation, transitioning to food pantries in each district. Lakota employed in wood and food delivery programs supported by One Spirit. Allen Youth Center built this year for the Lakota community. Fundraising now for youth centers to be built in every area of the reservation. 700 children and elders in sponsorship program.

Target demographics: The 40,000 people on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1500 per month in food program20 children regularly in the safe house150 homes heated through the wood program700 children and elders served through the sponsorship program500 people benefitted from the Okini program

Geographic areas served: Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota

Programs: Sponsorship, food, heat, youth programs

Community Stories

115 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Jenny108

Donor

Rating: 5

I visited the Pine Ridge Reservation a couple of months ago. I fell in love with the people and their vast needs touched my heart.
Since then I have found ways to help through One Spirit.
I am so very excited on the progress of the buffalo meat processing facility.
They did not wait until all of the funds were raised to begin construction!
The exterior walls are up,
the concrete is poured,
I think the water lines are in.
Now enough money has been raised
for the electrical.
The electrical materials arrived this week and the electrician is coming in!!!
In order to be USDA certified,
the interior walls will be expensive.
Also, freezers/coolers and equipment is needed.
It will take all of us spreading the word, donating and raising funds to have the facility completed by the spring
when it is needed.
I'll be helping financially and
I hope everyone who reads this will help.
With all of us together, the facility can be completed by spring.

1 Peggy W.

Donor

Rating: 4

I truely believe this is a good honest nonprofit that helps the Lakota -you can choose families/children you can personally help by mailing directly to them-you can send cash if you would prefer for specific needs such as food wood..etc you can sponcer through them-achild-family or elder.Check out their web site for all info you need-the need is great & Im sure you will like what you see!!

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3

Donor

Rating: 4

I have always had a heart for American indian & happened to come across their website in hunting around, i wanted to sponcer an american indian child/elder,ive had a lil bit of a problem getting up with the sponcer director but then found their okini program which i went with,they give you a list of ppl that need a variety of different items such as personal items, cleaning items,shoes,clothes etc, for me on a limited budget i can help as i can but still hope to 1 day be able to sponcer! usually you get a very quick responce alot of times same day response, they are small org. but very worthwhile & id like 2 see them grow & be able 2 help more ppl!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

One Spirit is a group of committed, generous, honest, kind individuals working to make a difference on a personal level in a place "conveniently" forgotten by all, and help develop intercultural friendships between the Lakota people and the rest of the world. Whether you choose to sponsor a child, send food to an elder, help bring buffalos back or participate in any of One Spirit's many programs, you know you're making a real difference in a real people's life – people you get to know and enjoy a friendship with. You know the money, clothes, food you send are going where they're needed. You know that only a tiny percentage of your donations is used to run the nonprofit. And more importantly, you know that you're part of something bigger; something that changes the world one person at a time.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

B"H

ONE Spirit is an exceptional nonprofit. Not only do they provide hands on aid to people on the Pine Ridge reservation, but they do it with sincerity and encouragement, bringing together sponsors, and those in need, in a good way. Friendships develop, help is actualised with respect and warmth in the giving. Truly it is commendable. Additionally, the continued addition of new programs uplift the people in an empowering manner, that things are set in place for the now and the future, covering various populations, i.e., veterans, the elderly, the children; family structures of every kind.

In my experience sponsoring an elder, I have thus far been able to "meet" online her daughter and others of the extended family, seeing photos, "hearing" from the everyday sort of living to also points of art, activism and beliefs. It has been enlightening to find our connexions even with lives so far apart yet with commonalities too.

One fundamental belief I have as a Torah observant Jew, is the understanding of "tikkun olam" or repairing the world. Should there be anyone in need, it it is part of our path to help, in what manner we can, to uplift that person in their way, making the world a better place. Connecting the Lakota with others, assisting with the dire circumstances of their lives having and continuing several centuries of extreme trauma, a small bit of healing can take place, one by one.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I moved to South Dakota during the 90's with people I became friends with who are Lakota Sioux and were returning to their home state. Not only that I learned the culture of the people, I experienced first hand the reservation life and to know that much work is needed whether it's financial, educational, spiritual to improve the quality of life.
After returning to the east coast in 2000, I continued my support through social media and financial contributions when possible. Online, I discovered ONE Spirit and other groups in order to keep up with current events in South Dakota. Although I have no direct experience with ONE Spirit, I do promote their work through social media and like the domino effect, it does spread on the world wide web.
I certainly can simply say ONE Spirit continues to make every effort to improve and change lives.

1 Reva M.

Donor

Rating: 5

The character and integrity that this organization exemplifies is only two of the many attributes it has. They work diligently to ensure nothing corrupts their purpose. They are dedicated to the strengthening of their food sovereignty and continuance of a culture that will benefit all of humanity. There are so few charities by which you can see daily how the recipients are benefiting from it. The vast majority of the funds go directly to the programs that are key to their basic survival. It is really a no-brainer to give to this stellar organization.

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1

Donor

Rating: 5

Team One Spirit has the goal of taking care of the positive experiences and health of their people.
They do this with no glorified expectation of government handouts or the use of corporate wage earners to manage their program.
They are truly Of The People, By The People, and For The People, with no need for thanks and with a lot of volunteer efforts, because taking care of their own is what they do. I like supporting this group because I know it gets at the very root and basic needs of their people, and because I know what it's like to go hungry and go for long periods of time without proper nutrition and basic clothing.

1 Grim R.

Donor

Rating: 5

Very good, donations go directly to who needs them, they are quick to respond to any messages, good hearted people.

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3

Donor

Rating: 5

There are just a handful of organizations that I regularly try to donate to. I support and respect One Spirit because it is driven by local communities coming together to help those in need among them. What could be more important than helping Elders make it through the winter, feeding children, getting school supplies to students, and providing a positive environment for teens. I know that whatever I send will go directly to those who need it, maybe passing between one or two hands before it gets there. No big outside organization sweeps in with poverty commercials. They keep people informed of their progress, highlighting all the positive things that are being done. While I usually donate or volunteer for local groups in my own state of Texas, I think the nation as a whole needs to step up and take responsibility for the conditions of our Reservations. Despite all the promises, the only way real change seems to take place is when people like One Spirit stand up and make it happen in their own communities. Much respect to those who do.

1 Trina8

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love them. They genuinely care and are super great people.

2 Lisa547

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If you're hoping to help Lakota families, One Spirit is the only non profit endorsed by the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council. It's unprecedented and speaks to how highly regarded an organization they are. 90% of every donation goes DIRECTLY to the oyate...not to salaries or overhead.

4 Shirley36

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a sponsor with ONE Spirit for over 4 years. I sponsor an elder and the grandkids she is raising. I speak to her directly often, and find out what she and the kids need. With other charities, you send in your money but never get to find out who or how it's helping. This direct approach shows me how I'm making a positive difference in a needy family's lives. I feel blessed to be able to help this family. I highly recommend ONE Spirit! Mrs. Peterson