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Lincoln’s Indian Center accepting winter clothing donations

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 7:29 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - On cold days in Nebraska, most of us don’t second guess grabbing a coat before we head out the door, but for some in our neighboring state of South Dakota, it isn’t that easy.

Right now, there are about 40,000 people living on the Pine Ridge Native American Reservation in South Dakota. Often times, there are as many as 20 people living in one household. Many of them are also living in extreme poverty, and COVID-19 is only making things worse in the community.

When the winter months roll around, the Indian Center’s Vice Chairman Kevin Abourezk says it’s kids that struggle a lot.

“There are children on the reservation who can’t go to school during the winter time because they don’t have warm winter clothing to wear to school,” he told 10/11.

This is why for the second year in a row, Lincoln’s Indian Center is stepping in. They’re collecting winter items to help the people living on Pine Ridge. Things like coats for adults and kids, scarves, blankets and more are being dropped off every day at several locations across the Capital City.

Abourezk said, “The idea that this coat that you’re giving to this cause may allow a child to go to school is incredible. It’s an incredible gift.”

With almost 1,000 items being collected at one location so far, staff members with the Indian Center say they’re already overwhelmed with the community’s response.

“Pine ridge is really like a third-world country, and a lot of people want to help other third-world countries. They should. They absolutely should, but we should also be willing to look in our backyards sometimes and realize that we have neighbors living in very similar conditions. Pine ridge is one of those places,” Abourezk told 10/11.

In 2019, the Indian Center tells us they were able to collect enough winter gear to fit on two flat-bed trucks that delivered them to those living on Pine Ridge.

They say this year’s need is even greater with the pandemic, and they don’t doubt the community will donate even more.

There are seven locations, including small businesses, where blue donation bins are located. You can drop new or gently-used winter items off in these bins until Sunday, December 6, 2020.

Donation sites:

Open Harvest Co-op Grocery - 1618 South St, Lincoln, NE 68502

Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso - 1624 South St, Lincoln, NE 68502

Goldenrod Pastries - 3947 S 48th St, Lincoln, NE 68506

The Mill Coffee @ Telegraph - 330 S 21st St, Lincoln, NE 68510

Tamayta - 4025 S 48th St, Lincoln, NE 68506

The Hub Cafe - 250 N 21st St #3, Lincoln, NE 68503

Indian Center Inc. - 1100 Military Rd, Lincoln, NE 68508

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