Giving Back to Wounded Knee Foundation



On Saturday, July 27, 2013 Cindy Hicks-Orth, founder and director of Giving Back to Wounded Knee Foundation gave a presentation titled “Together In The Spirit” at the Westchester Public Library. Midwest SOARRING Foundation, a Native American organization located in Westchester, Illinois, sponsored her as a guest speaker for this event. Hicks brought with her an extensive collection of books, photographs, artwork, and hand crafted Native American handcrafts for display, which impressed her audience.

Hicks, of Shawnee ancestry covered the history and current day affairs on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations. Spending much of her summers planning and organizing her foundation’s annual Give Away for the Oglala Lakota and Rosebud Sicangu Reservations in South Dakota, her motivating talk inspired the audience. An activist for Native American Indian issues, Hicks speaks all over the country on issues current and relavant to the people she serves, and those issues of historical value that may not be so familiar with “outsiders”.

By creating awareness of the conditions in which her Sioux friends exist, she is careful to dispell those who think that all Native Indians are wealthy due to some of the casinos found on fortunate reservations. The Rosebud and Pine Ridge are in two of the three most poverty stricken counties in the country. Hicks told her listeners that every summer, she gathers a group and together they take a Truck of Honor out to either Pine Ridge or Rosebud to distribute the goods among the tribal citizens who are all invited to attend.

In response to her talk, Hicks received plentiful donations in gently used clothing and household goods, contributions for gas money, and the promise of a rental truck and driver for the upcoming 2013 fall trip to the Rosebud Reservation.


The week of October 6-12, 2013 a caravan of cars, trucks, trailers, vans, and box truck traveled to the Rosebud Sicangu Lakota Reservation in South Dakota. Midweek found 3 feet of snow in the Black Hills and the last day there were 70 mph straight winds and rain, but the weather for the Giveaway was sunny and mild so it was a good day for lots of people to get out and come to inspect the collection of clothing and household items and take what they needed.

Several hundred came through the doors at the Barry Greenstein Gymnasium and as usual, when the doors were opened at 8:45 a.m., the room was quite bare by noon. There are so many people to thank for all of the help Giving Back To Wounded Knee Foundation received to make this event a success. We thank you all, and appreciate the help from President Cyril Scott of the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, his Administrative Assistant, Wilma Robertson, and Teddy Rae Herman-Rogers, her beautiful daughters and friend Raechel Rae Herman and Ariana Herman-Waln and Dawn Rae Waln, in helping us find the space and assistance we needed for the event. And to Mr. Joseph Standing Bear Schranz and Janet Sevilla of the Midwest SOARRING Foundation who encouraged their members to donate many beautiful items at their September Harvest Pow Wow. Many other people either joined us on the trip to South Dakota, and/or contributed their time to loading the trucks, sorting and packing boxes, and in many cases purchasing and donating many of the items for the Give Away. For those who joined up with us ~ whom we could not have brought this off this year, our deepest thanks for making this trip so really very special.


We came equipped with six sets of twin bed mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and warm bedding in excellent condition. There were over 100 formal gowns for spring proms, dozens of warm coats for men, women, and children; many new shoes and boots, warm sweaters of all sizes, school supplies and stuffed animals for the little ones, dozens of new socks and underclothing. A large screen TV was donated to the veterans on the reservation and a Finish wood burning stove was also a Give Away find. There were dressers, mirrors, side tables, comfy chairs for relaxing, and a large wrought iron patio table with eight chairs. Other items include a kerosene stove, a 27" Sony TV, thousands of clothing items (many new) for men, women, and children, and an especially nice selection of beautiful, warm coats and jackets for men. View photos of the 2013 Give Away.

We wish to thank ALL who generously donated impeccable goods and clothing, time and money to keep making these trips to Pine Ridge and Rosebud, South Dakota happen successfully, year after year. We coul NOT do this without you ~ in fact, we need more volunteers to help us bring off what has become a “looked forward to” expedition and function. The joy we receive in being able to expedite these big loads of goods to folks who may need them were received in the same spirit ~ we found many warm smiles, thank you’s, and God’s Blessings our way from the Rosebud citizens who trekked out and took advantage of our supplies ~ which we love to hear and love to help as well.

Wolf Pack