(Photo by: Amanda Rutland/MCNPR) Muscogee (Creek) Nation Children and Family Services Staff Steve Wahnee Holly Dunn, Second Chief Louis Hicks, Muscogee (Creek) citizen Cindy Yahola and her daughter Aspen with the toy and clothing donation to the Children and Family Services department.
For immediate release
Dec. 14, 2016
Out of state citizen makes donation during Christmas season
OKMULGEE, Okla. — Muscogee (Creek) Nation citizen Cindy Yahola and her daughter Aspen drove from Lebanon, Tennessee Dec. 8 to make a surprise visit at the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Children and Family Services office on the MCN Tribal Complex in Okmulgee. Yahola had packed the trunk of her car full with toys, clothes, and games to donate.
For the past four years, Yahola has conducted the toy drive out of her home to give to the Nation, but said this is the biggest donation yet.
“The first year was kind of small, the next year was a little bigger, and last year was even bigger and now this year we’ve got this much,” Yahola said while gesturing to the plastic bins of toys.
Yahola received some help collecting items this year from a friend.
“This year I had a friend of mine that is a news writer for one of the local papers and she did an article. I had people I didn’t even know coming to my house this year with toys and stuff,” Yahola said. “I was aware of the cutbacks from the layoffs. I let the newspaper know that so I think that might have helped generate more.”
Yahola said she just wants to help her tribe.
““It warms my heart to be able to do something because like I said, nobody ever thinks of the Native kids [in Tennessee] and the Natives are near and dear to my heart,” Yahola said. “It is a way for people to know of the Native culture because they don’t get it out there.”
Children and Family Services Administrative Assistant April Welch said this donation would make Christmas for a lot of children.
According to Welch, the donation would go to children in tribal custody as well as other needy families.
“These are going to go to kids in tribal custody or that are on our case plan currently. Also, because there is such an abundance that we are willing to look into reintegration is doing a drive, Domestic Violence [Prevention Program], they help their children,” Welch said. “So, definitely going to share the wealth here and share with our citizens.”