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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

126 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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?

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!

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.

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.

1 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!

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.

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.

Paisley's P.

Donor

Rating: 5

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

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This is the only service organization of it's kind for the Lakota people on Pine Ridge Reservationand the only non-profit endorsed by the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council. That's really saying something! They serve and advocate for the Oglala Lakota and the oyate love them.

Sharon218

Donor

Rating: 5

I found One Spirit on a social media site almost 3 years ago, since then I have come to know how critical an organization such as this is needed for the Lakota people. I contacted One Spirit and requested information about donating to a family in need. In my third year I was blessed to sponsor a family and from the moment I requested a sponsorship from the staff to the day I enjoyed my first phone conversation with my new family, I've got to tell you that there is so much love and concern and support from One Spirit to the Lakota that you will not find a more honorable, loving, compassionate organization to become involved with. Enriching the quality of life among the Lakota, there is nothing more rewarding.

Donor

Rating: 5

Im glad that there is one spirit,
Im sponsor and with your help I can donate quickly and directly, always with my heart and from deepest conviction for the Lakota

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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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.

2 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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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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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.