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26 donations

This fundraiser ended on 03/08/12

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We pledged the labor of our hands and hearts to build a home for a family. But, circumstances got in the way of our progress. Can you help?

In 2011, I traveled to Pine Ridge, South Dakota to build a natural home built of reused shipping pallets for a family living out of a tent on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The reservation is a place of serious poverty. Obscenely poor living conditions and unemployment has swept the reservation for over a century, a direct result of the cultural annihilation of the Oglala Lakota.

While on the reservation for six weeks, Alison Goings, Walter Yellowhair, and their family showered warmth and generosity to their volunteer crew. They gave us a place to sleep, food to eat, and served as kind ushers into the cultural memory of the Lakota tribe.

The project was slated to be finished by August 31st, 2011. However, due to depleted energy and lack of funds, the pallet house build took a hiatus in late October 2011 until June 2012. We were able to construct the frame, insulate the walls, attach the metal roof, install a rocket mass heater and cob most the exterior of the house.

Until June, Alison and Walter must make it through the winter season in a house that lacks an insulated roof and electricity. The heat that their wood stove manages to produce escapes almost immediately through the thermal punctures within the roof's envelope.

So far, they have been blessed by a mild winter, however just last night the temperature dropped to single digits in South Dakota climate where it is normal to drop below freezing consistently throughout the winter months.

In order to fully insulate their roof, all we need is $1,100 for a recycled cellulose application to be administered by Henry Red Cloud of Lakota Solar Enterprises. The cellulose is made from recycled cardboard, paper and trash.

One person can't raise a roof but fifty people can. 50 people donating $20 a piece or 100 donating $10 would make this gift possible.

By making a donation, you are assisting in providing:

-a warmer living space for Alison and Walter;

-support of the reservation's renewable energy endeavors through local enterprise; and

-an easier transition period for the family until the house is completed.

Please, help me in giving back the gift of warmth Alison and Walter are so deserving of.

Ryan Herrick
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