Danielle Miller, 17, a junior at Sacred Heart Academy, founded a service organization called the “National Awareness Committee” to provide clothing, books and other needed items to members of the Lakhota Sioux Nation living on a reservation in South Dakota.
Danielle became aware of the Lakhotas’ needs during a school presentation by the Native American Support Effort (NASE) when she was in eighth grade. “The details and photographs moved me to tears,” said Danielle. “I never realized the abundance of crisis in my own country.”
Danielle immediately offered to volunteer with NASE, but was too young to go on a mission to the reservation. Later she realized she could accomplish a great deal in her own community to help the Lakhotas. She planned and organized five collection drives at local schools and in nearby communities, and gathered enough clothing, blankets, kitchenware, bicycles and books to fill a 52-foot truck. Danielle recruited volunteers to help sort, pack and load the donations, and personally accompanied the shipment to the Rosebud Reservation in southern South Dakota. She also raised more than $2,000 to pay for the transportation, and to make a documentary film that will be used to make even more people aware of the Lakhota situation.