SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Children’s Inn in Sioux Falls got an unexpected surprise today in the form of money.
But maybe the biggest surprise is where the money came from.
A pow wow is a way for Native Americans to sing, dance and honor their Native American culture, even if they’re behind bars.
These inmates are able to hold pow wows each year thanks to monetary donations from their tribes, but unfortunately not this year, they had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.
“They didn’t just want to sit on the money, they wanted to make sure that money went to some good,” State Penitentiary Warden Darin Young said.
“So they decided they wanted to donate it to the Children’s Inn, because they are so appreciative that the Children’s Inn is taking care of so many women and children that are Native American, and in their culture, women and children are sacred,” Native American prison volunteer Mary Montoya said.
The Children’s Inn is a domestic abuse shelter for women and children.
Its mission is to help victims of domestic violence overcome trauma and help rebuild their lives in a safe environment.
So today, the inmates donated their check for $500 to Children’s Inn.
“Any donation obviously means a lot to us, it helps support our services of our shelter and our crisis intervention and it supports the people who are coming to us,” Children’s Inn operations director Amy Carter said
While it means a lot to the Children’s Inn, it’s equally meaningful, if not more, for the inmates.
“I think that it helps fulfill that reward that personal satisfaction of doing something good, being selfless and giving to somebody else,” Young said.
Proving you can make a difference, no matter your situation.
“Obviously men who are behind bars, they made a mistake; for some, it was the only mistake they made in their lives, but at any rate, they still have good hearts they still want to be a part of the community,” Montoya said.
In the past, inmates have made other donations to the community thanks to pizza parties where they raise funds.