October Share the Plate – Hawkwing

Our Share the Plate recipient for October is Hawkwing, headquartered in Glastonbury, CT.

Rochelle Ripley Hawkwing Social Action
Rochelle Ripley, of Glastonbury, a Lakota descendant and an advocate for Native Americans, was nationally recognition as one of CNN’s “Top Ten Heroes of 2015.”

Hawkwing began with a promise its director Rochelle Ripley made to her Lakota grandmother to “go home and help the People.”  “Home” is the Cheyenne River Lakota/Sioux Reservation, South Dakota, a land of beauty, wilderness, inspiration, and heart-wrenching poverty. The Cheyenne River Lakota Reservation is the poorest county in the United States with limited healthcare, a life expectancy of only age 48, 85% unemployment and an average annual income per person of only $2,926. 

Hawkwing brings basic need items: food, clothing, medical supplies, personal care items, books and toys to some 2,600 children and 500 Elders on the Reservation. Hawkwing brings doctors, nurses and dentists to the Reservation for health services, and construction volunteers to repair dilapidated homes, community buildings and special projects. Hawkwing brings hope, respects culture, supports families, promotes life and keeps promises.

Hawkwing promotes a world vision of Mitakuye Oyasin — We Are All Related.  In the Native American manner, we acknowledge the importance of all living things on the Earth. hawkwing seeks to create a reality where we understand, honor, appreciate and respect one another across ethnicity, genders, sexual orientation, ages, species, boundaries, and beliefs. Hawkwing strives to engage children and adults in honoring and healing Mother Earth who provides us with our very existence. 

Rochelle writes: “COVID-19 has spread a great deal on the Rez following the Sturgis Rally, which was only an hour away. The Tribe has worked hard to confine the spread but despite this it is now over 200 cases (9,000 population). With the challenging health conditions it is a difficult time. We are working hard to provide for basic needs, travel costs for off Rez healthcare needs and food. People are limited from leaving the Rez so they are limited from getting what they need. I am grateful for help and pray that everyone in your church community and their families are safe and well. Blessings and Gratitude.”

SUUS has donated to Hawkwing several times in the past to finance specific projects on the reservation and to help in general.

This year, we hope to use our Share the Plate donations to help stem the effects of racism and discrimination against the marginalized in society who suffer from discrimination and oppression, whether because of race, minority status, economic status, immigration status, and gender identity. By donating 50% of our cash offering each week to a designated organization, we offer our congregation and all who visit SUUS a chance to become aware of the many needs in the area and the opportunity to make a difference in the world.

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