indians at Rosebud Reservation
I am such a whiner.

Yesterday, the wind was howling out of the north. The temperature had dropped 30 degrees from Thanksgiving Day's unusually balmy high in the mid-60s. It was my wife's birthday, and my two daughters and I decided to take her to this awesome little cafe/bakery in the city in the afternoon. We drove down and I dropped the three of them off at the cafe. I went to look for a parking spot.

I found a spot a little less than a full city block away. I stepped out of the car and walked half way down the block to to the machine that issues the metered parking ticket you throw on the dashboard.

Damn wind. "I'm freakin' freezing," I muttered to myself. (As my father always said, "You can't talk to a closer friend.")

I walked back into the teeth of the wind to the car, slapped the parking ticket on the dash, then turned to walk the near-block back to the cafe, shivering.

My wife and daughters already had a table. I complained bitterly about the freezing wind. My wife asked if we should consider getting another table farther from the front door that might be a little warmer.

"Nah, it's all right," I said. "But that goddamned wind..."

When we got back home, we lit a nice fire in the fireplace. I cranked up the thermostat a couple of degrees.

And then I remembered that I was scheduled to write this diary.

"I am a pathetic wuss," I said to myself, remembering again my father's adage. "I need to STFU about walking not even a full city block in a cold wind."

Look, we're all  busy. This is the time of the year when the mailbox is jammed with donation requests from charities. But the Propane Project is simple. And its benefits are direct and measurable. You, literally, buy propane for heating for folks who live in a place that makes the pathetic little cold and wind I was complaining about seem like a day at the beach.

Do it. The propane you buy gets delivered within 48 hours. Consider it instant gratification for the part in all of us that likes to help others.

"And for god's sake, quit your whining." (That was me talking to myself again. I think my old man is right about that.)

Keep reading to find out how you can contribute right freakin' now...


Since winter 2009-2010, thanks to the efforts of navajo, Native American Netroots and other Kossacks, low-income Indians at three Indian reservations have received propane and heaters to deal with the often-brutal winters of South Dakota. This is our fourth season of fund raising for this project, which literally saves lives because it catches people who fall through the cracks. Some have asked why we don't run this project through a regular charity. The reason is that our contacts on the reservations say they don't see the money when there is a middleman involved. That is why this is a unique project. You can learn more about the situation at the Rosebud Reservation, read some personal stories and see photos in Aji's post here.

Here is how you can help buy propane: The fastest way to help is to pick up the phone and call with your credit-card information. A family will get propane delivered either the same day or the next day.


Telephone St. Francis Energy Co. at:
Ask for Sherry or her mom Patsy, but others can help you also. Normally a minimum order is $150, but they have an account to accumulate small donations until they get enough for an full delivery. Credit cards welcome, and they are the only Indian-owned fuel company on the Rosebud. If you'd like to mail a check, make it payable to:

St. Francis Energy Co.
Attn: Sherry or Patsy
St. Francis Energy Co./Valandra's II
P.O. Box 140
St. Francis, South Dakota 57572


Of course, all the propane in the world won't do you any good without a heater. Many families don't even have working heaters—or ones that work safely. Every year, there are house fires as a result of malfunctioning heaters that people can't afford to repair. So if you're flush or you have a few friends who can put your dollars together, a heater would be really welcome this Thanksgiving season.
You can order a heater and the necessary accessories from Northern Tool HERE and have it shipped to:
Propane Heater for Rosebud reservation

Sherry Cornelius
St. Francis Energy Co.
120 N. Main Street
Saint Francis, SD 57572

Here's what you'll be sending:
• Mr. Heater Big Buddy™ Indoor/Outdoor Propane Heater—18,000 BTU, Model# MH18B
You also need to include these accessories:
• Mr. Heater AC Power Adapter for Big Buddy Heaters—6 Volt, Model# F276127
• Mr. Heater 12-Ft. Hose with Regulator for Item# 173635
• Mr. Heater Fuel Filter for Buddy™ Heaters, Model# F273699
Order Total of $235.85 (includes shipping)


If you live out of the country, please use our PayPal link at Native American Netroots. The donation button is in the middle right of the page. This process takes about two weeks for the funds to hit the reservation, so telephoning the propane companies directly is definitely the fastest way to help.

Photos show Rosebud Indian Reservation residents thanking Daily Kos donors for propane and heaters last winter.

Originally posted to Bob Johnson on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 11:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Fundraisers and Native American Netroots.

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