The Redwood area collected over three semi-trucks full of items for the Crow Creek reservation in South Dakota, and the items were delivered last week.

Who is blessed more – those who give or those who receive? If one were to ask Clara Friese that question, the answer would be simple. Being able to give to others in need provides far greater blessing. Friese experienced that blessing again recently when she and a group of local individuals took truckloads of donated items to the Crow Creek reservation in South Dakota. 

Friese said there are so many stories she could tell about this experience that let her know what is being done locally is making a difference. “A gentleman brought in a kitchen stove, and he assured me it was brand new,” said Friese. “When we got to Crow Creek we found out the stove in their community center had just quit working.” One local donor brought in a brand new bike which was given to one of the Crow Creek elders. That elder, said Friese, is also a veteran, and he came to pick up his new bike in uniform. Friese said more than 80 bikes were donated to the people of Crow Creek through the collection. Students from the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) group at Redwood Valley spent a lot of time helping load items during the local collection, and they also took the initiative to pump up bike tires and make sure the bikes all worked. “They were riding them all over the Tersteeg’s parking lot,” said Friese with a smile. Friese said there were a lot of big things donated this time, including a brand new mattress still in the plastic, as well as a snowblower. “I did not want to take the snowblower, because I did not want to get it there only to find out it wouldn’t work,” she said. “We took it, and when it was unloaded a man came and took it right away.” Friese said they found out that man cleared snow from the lot where they were unloading, which she described as huge, and up to that point had been doing it with a shovel. “I think this was the poorest place we have been,” said Friese, adding the people were all so appreciative. Friese expressed her appreciation to everyone who helped make this event possible including sponsors, those who donated items and money, the Lower Sioux community and those who made the trip with her to Fort Thompson, S.D. to present the items. It had been three years since the last collection, and Friese said people responded generously again. “The credit goes to each and everyone of you who helped in any way,” said Friese, adding the community did an outstanding job helping to make the lives of very poor people just a little bit better. Is Friese planning to do another collection in the future? She said it is possible, adding that is a discussion for another day.