Baskets of Hope

“Baskets of Hope” was an outgrowth of our attempt to be respectful of protocol in traditional Native American communities. It is appropriate to offer gifts to elders and homes when visiting. Rather than offer gifts that are not practical, we chose to bring gifts of foods and household items that can be used daily. As we began to share this idea with friends in our community, others wanted to join us in providing laundry baskets full of items.

We developed a “shopping list” for those wanting to join in our efforts. The list has items such as toothbrushes, deodorants, toilet paper, First Aide kits, soap, etc. Each basket contains approximately $100 worth of items. We shared the idea in 2009 and hoped for 25 Baskets to be provided. To our surprise, we took 63 Baskets of Hope with us. Then in 2010, we hoped to match our previous year’s total of 63 Baskets and ended up with 125 Baskets of Hope!!!

While we hand deliver many of these Baskets to homes we currently have long-running relationships with, we also work with local individuals, churches and ministries in the communities. The local people know who have the greatest needs, therefore we submit to their leadership and simply serve as someone to carry the Baskets for them as they deliver them to homes and people in need. It is important to The Red Road that we NOT be the ones to receive the “credit” for providing all of these Baskets. We would rather the local church or individuals be recognized. It is our desire to empower and lift up the local people. When they have a great need or want to speak with someone at 2 AM, and we are 2,000 miles away, we can’t be of much help. However, if the relationships are strong enough (thanks in part to the giving of Baskets), then they do have someone local who is 5 minutes away who can be there for them in times of need.

It is important to note that when we “give” these Baskets of Hope away, it is simply that, a gift. We do not use this as a “now that I’ve given you something, let me tell you about how you can go to heaven, etc.” If we give ONLY to get something in return, we are not giving. We are trading. Rather, we choose to give gifts, develop relationships, and earn the right to be heard in time.

We share Baskets of Hope on reservations in South Dakota, Arizona, Montana, and Alberta, Canada. If you would like to learn more about this opportunity, or would like to involve your church, school, or civic group in helping provide a Basket of Hope, please contact

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