Helping those in need family affair at Scottown PO

Published 10:04 am Monday, June 21, 2010

SCOTTOWN — It is a case of a sister helping a sister. That’s what’s happening as Scottown Postmaster Vickie Wilson is asking for donations for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Wilson’s sister, Linda Trollinger, is a professor of sociology at Campbellsville College, a Christian college about 90 minutes outside of Lexington, Ky. Last month Trollinger, who grew up in Scottown, helped chaperone a group of sociology students to Pine Ridge.

“It was to look at the agencies and see what kind of things social workers would be doing,” Trollinger said. “We visited places like the state social services office or the tribal child protection agency.”

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They stayed on the reservation, which is in Shannon County, S.D., the poorest county in the United States.

“When you start looking at it, there is 50 percent poverty and 85 percent unemployment there,” she said.

In Shannon County there are private, public and Bureau of Indian schools.

“BIE schools are a whole other matter,” Trollinger said. “With that being a reservation, it comes down six levels of bureaucracy before it comes to them. Each gets a cut. By the time it gets down to them, they have very little.”

That is where her sister comes into the picture. Trollinger’s students wanted to help out so now they are gathering up some of the supplies needed for the BIE school.

And the Scottown Post Office is part of the collection process as Wilson will be accepting donations at the post office now through October.

“She said it was such a poor district,” Wilson said. “I thought this is something we could do. I was going to try.”

Items that are needed are writing tablets, crayons, pencils, folders, scissors, construction paper, composition books, pens, paper, balls, sports equipment and art supplies.

“Where they really struggle is not having enough school supplies, art supplies, supplies for gym,” Trollinger said. “They recently got some technology in. But with the unemployment so high, a lot of parents don’t have money. My sister gathers coats and warm things for the homeless center in Huntington. We are going to trade off.”

Donations may be dropped off at the Scottown Post Office, at 11168 State Route 217, Scottown.

Hours are 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:45 to 10 a.m. Saturday. Any questions may be directed to Wilson at 866-6012.