Every summer, groups of individuals visit Blackfeet Country with the sole desire to volunteer their time and efforts to do what they can to assist the elders and people here while learning about Blackfeet tradition and culture. The Global Volunteers is one such organization which has been leading groups of folks around the Reservation, repairing homes and doing jobs that need doing.
Last summer, a mother and daughter from Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, came with the Volunteers and wound up staying with Bob Tailfeathers, lately retired from Blackfeet Community College. When they got ready to go back home, Tailfeathers said Kelsey DiStaso, daughter of Kim DiStaso, asked him what she could send back that would be of further help to the Blackfeet people.
Bob said he thought about it. “I thought the one thing that kids run out of after school starts is school supplies,” he recalled.
That was all it took for Kelsey to create a drive around her home in New Jersey, eventually sending several large boxes of supplies, coats and scarves to Tailfeathers, who brought them to Browning Schools Administration. There, Nikki Hannon arrived and said the items will be perfect for the “store” she has set up for kids to receive such supplies.
“Kelsey DiStaso is a junior at Governor Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights, NJ,” writes her mother, Kim. “She’s a member of the high school’s state champion soccer team (first such title in 34 years), the lacrosse team, Student Council and National Honor Society. She also plays club soccer throughout the year, competing primarily up and down the East Coast.”
Kim DiStaso is a retired school teacher, an aspiring author and volunteers for many charitable organizations.
“We enjoyed working alongside the Blackfeet and were endeared by everyone’s genuine desire to share their stories and deep-rooted culture. We felt very welcome!” she wrote of her experience.