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1730 State Street Extension
Bridgeport, CT, 06605
United States


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.

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

Huntington/Middlebury on the Reservation: July 2013

Timothy Nurnberger

The Huntington/Middlebury group was welcomed to South Dakota with a rainstorm, but also a rainbow.  This was a promise of the week to come filled with possibilities and promises, laughter and tears, framed by a whole lot of smiles! Our morning projects were based in two locations: Danielle’s house and the Community Center.  One team concentrated on making a safe and lovely place for Danielle and her four daughters.  Doors were hung, counters were built, linoleum was laid, a deck replaced, and a bathroom prepped for installation. Danielle’s house is one step closer to completion and comfort.

Back at the Community Center, the changing room was painted and improved, a rack was built to store the multitude of water bottles (to keep us all hydrated!), windows were framed and molding was hung.  These improvements have made the Community Center more comfortable for the volunteers and all who enter its doors.

Another important project was sanding and varnishing tipi poles.  We are hoping to see a completed tipi by Friday evening!  These tipis represent the reclaiming of Lakota tradition, a step in reawakening the identity of the Community.

Our main purpose in being here is for the children, to bring and receive smiles, hugs, and piggyback rides!  Day camp included games and crafts.  The children enjoyed making bottle cap necklaces, sun wreaths, nametags, and octopi.  Each craft represented a traditional Lakota value:  generosity, wisdom, honor, and helpfulness.

Our Wednesday excursion to the Missouri River was a highlight of the week for staff, volunteers, and campers alike.  Fun was had by all frolicking in the water in the heat of the day.

As the wind blows over the South Dakota landscape, we sense the wind of hope blowing over this land as the community sees a vision of a brighter future.


Debra & Lucille