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Hochoka Healing Center is constantly working on new community projects. Bert Rooks’s commitment to teaching in a compassionate way helped us all to strive to be the best that we could be. He always had an eye on the needs of the elders, children and women. Our programs stem from his efforts. He began outreach programs for the local communities in South Dakota where he grew up. 

As the founder and visionary for this non-profit, Bert’s loss is profound. Yet, we as a board are committed to moving forward with his teachings. Our purpose is to honor the programs and teachings of our late teacher so that his life’s work can live on.

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Annual Christmas Giveaway

Every year, we supply families of the Pine Ridge Reservation and Black Hills communities with giveaways.  Each child gets 3 gifts, a winter coat, boots, hat, gloves, and a bag of clothes.  Each family also gets 2 boxes of food.


It began years ago, when we started receiving requests from the reservation parents to help them supply Christmas presents for their children. It is important to understand that many of the people on the reservations are struggling.

For children who live in households where even food is scarce, Christmas presents a luxury that can only be wished for. These children might see kids from other families with presents, but never have hope for many of their own. This kind of situation gradually erodes a young child’s self-esteem. Our hope at the Hochoka healing Center is that through our bringing an abundance of presents and goodies into their homes, these children will feel the Creator’s love for them. 

Since, one of our Hochoka Healing Center ceremonial sites is located in Hot Springs, SD, near the Pine Ridge Reservation; we receive requests for help of all kinds. But, making kids happy at Christmas has been one of our most satisfying charitable endeavors. Take a look through the photos below to enjoy beautiful, happy faces during Christmas charity deliveries that were make throughout the years.



South Dakota Food Pantry

The goal is to help families that are struggling to feed their “families” with our food pantry program. It serves families that fight intense poverty, systemic alcoholism, and violence in their communities. The reason we say “families” is because many of these “families” bring others into their homes. They provide for more than their own children. They have taken in those of extended family and community members to provide a safe stable place for them to live. These are children or young adults that need extra support, whose own families might be ravaged with alcoholism, addiction or abuse. These “families” are sober, clean, and helping to get these individuals the support, services, and employment that they need. They hope to provide healthy homes for the individuals in their care. 

There have been many changes this last year with the organization we partner with to receive food for this program, but we are shifting our facility in South Dakota to become a permanent food pantry.

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