THANKS so much for all of your help this past weekend - well, this past several months really. I appreciate the sacrifices you have all made to be able to see something good happen for the kids on the Rez. You have made a difference!
I believe this will be our last year for REZonate - at least as far as I will be connected with it. Some have expressed interest in going forward with it, but I am simply worn out. :)
I think some really positive things have happened because of REZoante.
- We have been a witness in our community. Even this year we met a couple who expressed that they would like to attend our church because of what was happening at REZonate. In past years there has always been stories of people who were touched who would not have been if we had not been visible in the community. We are still contacted for prayer by some outside of our church.For me, that is the greatest benefit of all and was in fact, my goal in doing REZonate. You can't really put a price tag on a soul.
- We have raised awareness in the community about Pine Ridge. In a district that uses the Lakota name for their schools, it is just good for them to have some awareness of what life is like for the real Lakota people.
- We have connected with The Community Foundation which brings in about $1000 a year of unsolicited funds for Backpacks For Pine Ridge.
- We have met some INCREDIBLE people. I can't begin to tell you how good it is to see people who are willing to sacrifice and give until it hurts to help a cause they believe in. In a world where it is the norm to serve self, these people give me hope and are shining examples that there are still good people in the world. I am often just blown away when I think of all that some of these folks have given. It just leaves me speechless. All I know is, God will bless them abundantly.
- The Lakota people have been amazed that we do what we do to help them - and they showed that this year by driving from South Dakota to be a part of it all. That should speak volumes to us about the value of what we have done
- And we have made money. Not much, mind you, but we have not ever spent more than we made. Bigger festivals in the community that look far more successful, have gone broke. We have always come out ahead. This year we made $600. Not much for all the work it was, but that's 60 kids that will get backpacks that wouldn't have gotten them otherwise. Those folks who stand and hand them out, know how HUGE that really is.
Beyond that, its just been fun. OK, its been a pain in the butt, but its also been fun. :) I know that I will cherish the memories and will smile often when I think of all the crazy things that have happened over the past 4 years.
We will of course, continue to provide backpacks for the kids. That will not change as long as I'm alive and kicking. The Backpacks For Pine Ridge fund still remains at The Community Foundation and we still have fundraisers happening - soon even- with the Trax For Backpacks 5k/10k this October. I am NOT quitting, just looking for other ways to take this forward.
Thanks again for all of your hard work. A simple "thank you" doesn't seem nearly enough. I'm not sure there is a way to express how grateful I am that a bunch of people willingly chose to follow one of my crazy ideas believing that something good could happen.
Now, on to the next crazy idea. Hahaha! I have no idea what that will be, but I do know that God has some wild and wonderful things in store for those that follow Him and so I can't wait to see what the next thing is.
Love you all!!