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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

ONE Spirit

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Emergency Assistance, Food, Food Banks & Pantries, Food Programs, Human Services, Youth Centers & Clubs

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

138 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I have always believed in the One Spirit Mission. I always try to donate extra when I have it available. This past summer my husband and I took a truck full of school supplys,clothing etc to the Allen Recreation Youth center. We were greeted so warmly by the children and I must have spent a couple hours just talking and hugging those precious souls. I respect their outlook and their resilient spirit. The need is so great there that I find myself organizing clothing drives,laundry supplys, back packs, warm hats,gloves and scarves. I wish I was a rich person because I would spend all my riches at Pine Ridge Reservation. I never miss an oppertunity to enlighten people about the Reservation and the great need to help through donations. This Thanksgiveing we are going again to deliver sleeping bags, and warm clothing for children and adults. I feel honored to help in any way possible. All anyone needs is a heart and a commitment to make life better for these honorable people.

Donor

Rating: 5

At a time when there is so much need, donating to One Spirit is a way to know your money is going directly to help those in need to survive a brutal winter or to begin building sustainable community infrastructure. You can make a difference.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We have been a partner of One Spirit for a little over a year now as my nonprofit, Everybody Solar, has been working to bring solar to their youth center and the Buffalo House. Everyone at One Spirit has been great to work with. They are clearly passionate about the work they do to help relieve the extreme poverty of the Lakota people on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. What I really appreciate is that they work diligently to find long-term solutions to the local issues, not just band-aids and that every decision is made with the local communities. It has truly been a pleasure. We can't wait for the solar projects to go live.

Bamm B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Great Job One Spirit, I live here on the reservation and we are thankful for all the kind hearted people of One Spirit. Your help is on target getting to the Tribal members in need. I enjoy being a part of one Spirit as the Manager of the Food Program and also the Wood Program . It's a better day in Lakota Country Thanks to One Spirit. Also we are now in rout to bringing back the Buffalo with our new Charging buffalo Meat processing House. Good job team work, and dedication is our way with one Spirit

Advisor

Rating: 5

One Spirit changes lives! Thanks to One Spirit and the generous people who support them. The Allen Youth Center has taken on a whole new life. We offer Lakota language and Arts, clay molding class, painting, movie nights, Star nights with telescope, field trips/outdoor hiking and soon, camping. We will offer quilting classes, first aid/cpr classes, basic cooking, lock-ins for the youth, basic carpentry class. We will be harvesting, in a very respectable and humble way, a Buffalo. The meat will be used to feed and the hide for a winter count for the youth center. The community members are assisting in this project. We are very thankful to have One Spirit backing us. Lives are being positively changed due to One Spirit. HOKA HEY!!!!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A wonderful organization which enables people the opportunity to give support to the people of Pine Ridge. Through the internet, the miles disappear as one Spirit brings everyone closer to the Lakota Nation. I so enjoy their Twitter posts as they give plenty of interesting topics and updates on Pine Ridge and have been a follower for quite some time now.

Lisa547

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer since 2012 and have seen first hand the good we do...everything from building a safe house, a Youth Center and a meat processing facility while delivering food boxes to 500 homes each month and providing firewood for cooking and home heat to elders in need. Our donors are fantastic and together, we've done the (nearly) impossible.

Previous Stories
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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.

Donor

Rating: 5

A wonderful organized organization. Well rounded. One Spirit is making a difference in the community. It is a help up, not a hand out. I was able to visit my family that I sponsor on the reservation. I got to see where my donations go. I highly recommend being a volunteer or donating to this organization.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They have excellent social media postings on Twitter.

Andrew Crystal D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

ONE Spirit, helps bring people together to Share & Create, a Better Life!

Donor

Rating: 5

I found One Spirit in late 2017 and began sponsoring food boxes for Lakota families on the beautiful Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. I am so grateful to find a charity fully immersed in the communities while remaining respectful of Lakota beliefs. Thank you Jeri Baker for following your heart and working tirelessly for the oyate. I am inspired to continue learning about the Lakota way of life and look forward to supporting the incredibly important work happening on Pine Ridge.

Anne-Marie M., Montgomery, TX

Donor

Rating: 5

Honest, straightforward, accountable,caring, all encompassing...just a few words that I’ve experienced since being a donor with OneSpirit. I’ve seen firsthand the need and the action being taken to address the needs. I highly recommend contributing to OneSpirit to everyone I know.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

What a great non-profit!! They are so dedicated and caring and positive amidst the great challenges the Lakota on Pine Ridge face...and they are making a profound difference! There are so many ways to contribute that everyone can find something suitable for him or herself, whether it is an ongoing sponsorship with a child or family or elder that affords the opportunity to actually interact on a more personal basis, to contributing to a youth program, or things like the firewood program, the monthly food sharing program, bringing back the buffalo for food independence or simply picking an item or two off of the Okini (material giving) List and donating needed and requested clothing or bedding or non-perishable food or hygiene items or toys DIRECTLY to a family. You can feel confident that your money or gifts are being maximally utilized to make a genuine difference in circumstances of great need, and isn't that the reassurance that we want, especially when giving at distance?

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been thoroughly impressed with how well the funds I’d donated were used. This all-volunteer organization channels every possible penny to help their projects succeed!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found One Spirit while specifically looking for a non-profit organization that did work with the Lakota tribe in South Dakota. I am skeptical of non-profit organizations that ask you to send them money and trust entirely that it is going to the people you intend on helping. I was immediately impressed by the fact that One Spirit has programs that allow donors to connect, and contribute, directly to families-in-need on the Pine Ridge Reservation. I called One Spirit and was able to speak directly with the founder, Jeri Baker. Fast-forward to four years later and I have been able to get directly involved with several One Spirit programs like their support for a group of youth runners from Pine Ridge who attended the NY City Marathon. I have been working for several years now on the Charging Buffalo project that is working to help build a meat processing plant on the reservation that will allow the tribe to process meat that is harvested from their buffalo herd. This facility will provide jobs and help the Lakota people take a step towards food independence. One Spirit is truly an organization that will allow you to be as involved as you want to be in their projects. I am truly happy to contribute my time and money to this organization.

1

Donor

Rating: 4

I am very pleased to be a continuing contributor to the Lakota Oyate through One Spirit. I know that almost all the money that I contribute goes to help the people. One Spirit is very informative about the needs and programs that money is going toward, and they are innovative and progressive in seeing and addressing needs in a variety of areas where they occur. I appreciate that One Spirit treats people with love and respect, as that is very important to me.

2 Bruce61

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One Spirit is a very special place -- devoted and special people taking on a very steep challenge. I've been working with them for four months now, and I feel it's an honor to stand with them and the Lakota people. In an old phrase, they "do more with less". They are reaching thousands of people every month with innovative critical life-support, in an area of the USA that is too easy to ignore. I also find it impressive and fascinating that they are pioneering new ideas in "networking", building an international network of donors and sponsors who help provide direct relief by sending "care packages" directly to people in critical need. ONE Spirit people are climbing a steep mountain and they deserve high respect and support. Thank you!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

So glad that this group exists and does such wonderful work. I have been able to help the families and children of the reservation despite the cultural gaps that exist between my family and the families of the reservation.

2 Quay D.

Donor

Rating: 5

Great non-profit. The website allows anyone to help a family in need, not just by writing a check like other organizations where you have no idea how your money is being sent, but with sponsorship, needed clothing, and food while fostering intercultural relationships.

1 Paisley's P.

Donor

Rating: 5

Great group of dedicated volunteers working in solidarity with the Lakota of Pine Ridge Rez.