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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: Gaining confidence, building dreams

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: Gaining confidence, building dreams

Zach Gross

The first Field Note of the week from the volunteer group of Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence, Kansas is brought to you by Harley Holub and Sophia Minder.

Sunday morning on the Cheyenne River Reservation consisted of a tour of La Plant that helped our group gain perspective and knowledge about the town. The afternoon included time on some work projects - moving wall panels for a new home over to the build site and improvements to the town's community center. This introduction to the week ahead made us thirsty for more. Sunday concluded with a delicious town-wide dinner, and a confidence-building softball game that helped us to interact with the community and kids.

Calvin and Stefan became expert roofers as they shingled a part of the community center roof that was damaged by high winds. (Z. Gross, June 2015)

Calvin and Stefan became expert roofers as they shingled a part of the community center roof that was damaged by high winds. (Z. Gross, June 2015)

On our first day of camp on Monday, we were impressed with the openness of the Simply Smiles campers; as one volunteer put it, “Kayson glommed onto me.” This is a place that clearly builds trust and puts the safety and dreams of children first. This was palpable to us all. 

This is hard work. This work is clearly rewarding. As one of the Simply Smiles principles says, “no busy work - ever!” We're looking forward to a full, fun, and productive week!

As part of Plymouth's "around the world" theme for camp this week, the kids received passports that will be stamped each day as they experience different continents through various crafts and games. (Z.Gross, June 2015)

As part of Plymouth's "around the world" theme for camp this week, the kids received passports that will be stamped each day as they experience different continents through various crafts and games. (Z.Gross, June 2015)