Due to the tough economy and lower employment, charities find it harder to offer the same services with smaller budgets.

It is possible that people who struggle to pay their heating bills won’t be able help those less fortunate. Americans living in poverty are especially at risk due to the worsening economic situation. Many charities are now unable to continue offering aid.

Donate to Running Strong for American Indian Youth, an independent charitable organization. Running Strong provides immediate assistance to impoverished American Indians, providing food, water and shelter. It also implements and supports programs that help them achieve self-sufficiency. Since 2000, Running Strong distributed $19 Million in food, clothing, blankets, and school supplies in South Dakota’s Cheyenne River Reservations and Pine Ridge Reservations.

Running Strong has been hit hard by declining national donations. Running Strong must close the Rapid City distribution center by June unless it experiences an increase in donations. Each month, the warehouse delivers food and supplies to at least three or four communities. Since July 1, 2008 the warehouse has distributed over 400,000 pounds of food.

Pine Ridge reservations and Cheyenne River are among America’s most poor areas. Many families are unable to afford enough food and heat, and don’t have indoor plumbing.

Even small gifts can make a huge difference to American Indian families. “We have thousands of caring Americans nationwide who donate $20 and $30.”Billy Mills, the national spokesperson for Running Strong, said this. “These little donors combine together their money so that we’re able to leverage it to buy on bulk and pay better prices for more food.”

You can find more information at Running Strong for American Indian Youth’s Web site. www.IndianYouth.org.