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Thank you for your interest in Simply Smiles! We invite you to explore our projects in Oaxaca, Mexico and on the Cheyenne River Reservation, as well as volunteer opportunities in these locations.

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18 Reynolds St.
East Norwalk, CT
USA

Dedicated to building bright futures for impoverished children, their families, and their communities.

Field Notes from the Reservation: Well worn hands, open hearts

Simply Smiles blog

Follow our blog and read insights from Simply Smiles staff, volunteers and other individuals whose lives are affected by our work!

Field Notes from the Reservation: Well worn hands, open hearts

Alex Gross

Today’s unique Field Note is brought to you by Lucy Burr and Stephanie Stewart, both first-time volunteers from Essex and Farmington, Connecticut respectively. They are part of a mixed group of volunteers who have met for the first time here in South Dakota! Today, they reflect on what they've learned from their first few days with us here in La Plant.

It is night four and we nine volunteers agree:

  1. The dedication of the Simply Smiles founder and staff is amazing in its work ethic, cultural respect, resolve, patience, determination, kindness and inspiration.
  2. The work to be done in La Plant is hard, emotional, uplifting, and so much more.
  3. We came prepared to use our hands.
  4. We are surprised at the pain in our hearts.
  5. Our impatience urges us to give and do, which is faster than teaching.
  6. We are frustrated by OUR people’s political/administrative mistreatment.
  7. We enjoy celebrating this community’s dance contest winners at the annual powwow.
  8. The kids are eager to see the smiles greeting them at camp, ready to give them our full attention in a friendly place and spend a few hours on a summer day.
Helping hands in the garden! These young farmers helped to harvest garlic in the garden! (A.Gross, July 2015, La Plant)

Helping hands in the garden! These young farmers helped to harvest garlic in the garden! (A.Gross, July 2015, La Plant)