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Simply Smiles provides bright futures for children, families, and communities. The organization partners with populations in need to create physical and emotional environments where suffering is alleviated and from which local leaders can emerge.

Simply Smiles blog

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

Farmington Valley Association on the Reservation 2013: Blog #1!

Timothy Nurnberger

Betsy writing from the Cheyenne River Lakota Reservation.  At home I work for a senior care agency, JFS Care at Home,  LLC. Care at Home is a social enterprise and is like Bryan’s plans for Simply Smiles Products. Both are for-profit agencies that provide revenues in support of not-for-profits. I understand this stuff and I feel comfortable with it. Many of the people on the reservation are seniors and I understand elder care...this is what I do at home...I feel comfortable. Senior housing, I work with people living in senior housing all the time. And then I visited Ford’s trailer.  I am not too clear about all of the connections but Ford was promised the trailer as senior housing, a place for him to live with some comfort and dignity. Thank you, Charlie, for letting me cry on your shoulder after I looked inside. My eyes are filling up with tears again. No one, no matter their age could live in such a place. I don’t have a picture to send, I have a picture in my heart which I will never forget. If what I do here this week makes any small difference in the life of the elders who live here, then I have received a great gift.


I’m Steve, the group historian. Great deal of work done today. We took apart the old pole barn and got a good jump on building a new one. Dug a few holes by hand only to discover that this soil is like concrete! Some of the Lakota men showed up with an auger on a Bobcat Tractor. Bless them! Made the diggers smile. Got a good start on covers for raised garden.  In the afternoon, we played games with kids  --  great joy for them and us.  Then some of the crazier of us plunged into the Missouri River. We  got clean (more or less) and actually refreshed, but it was painfully cold. At least one of us (me) will never do that again! Also, saw a herd of buffalo on the way to & from the river. We don’t see that at home; nor do we see such fabulous sunsets. Can hardly wait for tomorrow for more hard work, terrific group camaraderie and more playing with kids.





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