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Indy 5th grader pools blankets for Pine Ridge

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Cultural Awareness Educator and Native American Storyteller Terea Webb will send the blankets Ryleigh Mill collected at her 11th birthday party earlier this month and send them to people struggling to keep warm this winter on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. - REBECCA TOWNSEND
  • Rebecca Townsend
  • Cultural Awareness Educator and Native American Storyteller Terea Webb will send the blankets Ryleigh Mill collected at her 11th birthday party earlier this month and send them to people struggling to keep warm this winter on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.


After hearing a presentation from cultural awareness educator and Native American storyteller Teresa Webb, an Anishinaabe (First Nations) Eastern Woodland kids at Guion Elementary School wanted to know what they could do to support Native American Indians.

Webb responded immediately, "Blankets."

For people experiencing the profound poverty that runs rampant on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, surviving the winter can be a struggle and a dependable heating source is not guaranteed. Thus ongoing blanket collection and distribution.

The call for help touched 11-year-old student, who had started a tradition last year of forgoing gifts from friends attending her birthday party, asking them instead to bring supplies for a local charity. In 2012 she chose the Humane Society, said her mom, Kristin. This year, she responded to Webb's call and asked her friends to bring blankets, which they did - around a dozen.

"This little one took it seriously!" Webb wrote, when she contacted NUVO to note she would pick up the blankets on Wednesday. "She HEARD the news and responded with her heart! She is a little hero to me!"

On Wednesday morning, Webb returned to Guion Elementary to collect the blankets. She also made brought several gifts for Mills from members of the Urban Indian League of Indianapolis to honor her effort and spirit of generosity.

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