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Donations Needed: Sherman Indian High School

Dear Cal-Pac Community,

It’s that time to begin our annual gathering of items in support of Sherman Indian High School, Riverside, CA. This year’s list has some changes thanks to the generous support of Cal-Pac UMC churches and individuals in years past. Donations are being accepted now through the beginning of August.

Sherman Indian High School is one of four Boarding Schools still under the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Office of Indian Education. Started as Perris Indian School, 1892, Perris, Ca., and later moved to Riverside in 1903, and renamed Sherman Institute. Sherman Indian High School has undergone many changes, and unlike former Boarding Schools whose focus was assimilation by eliminating “The Indian,” the school now offers a balanced program that seeks to assure a quality education to students from many tribes, along with cultural awareness and inclusion. 

Students often come from families and tribes that have a long history with Sherman Indian High School. While students are often far away from home, Sherman Indian High School staff, along with local support seek to help students feel welcome. Still many students arrive on campus with very little. Support from tribal nations, individuals, and other organizations like the churches and individuals of the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church have stepped in to offer much needed support. 

Thanks to members of the Cal-Pac Conference, our list of support items this year has changed. Many personal items remain a priority, while previous school supply needs are not as much in need due to long standing and ongoing support. See our 2024-2025 school year list for items most needed. If each local church supplied 1 XL twin comforter, 1 large beach towel, then nearly every student on campus would be covered, literally, by the care of Cal-Pac UMC members and churches. If each supplied 1 reusable water bottle, then each student would drink from the care of Cal-Pac churches & members. If each provided a variety of supplies and snacks then students would know the gracious generosity so valued among tribal traditions. 

The California-Pacific AC, through the Committee On Native American Ministries and Native American UMC of So Cal, has been recognized year after year with the Golden Eagle Award in appreciation for student care and support. In conversation with many students at Elders potlucks, as well as school and community events, students, and sometimes staff, continue to be positively surprised at the support given. While at one such event it was noted as a student quietly shared “it’s a church that’s helping us so much?” The generosity being experienced by students from members and churches of the Cal-Pac AC touches a long standing history that has not always been seen in a positive light. 

Thanks to over 30 individuals, groups, and churches in 2023, that image has been changed for generations to come. We look forward to your continuing support in 2024 as we share our blessings with Sherman Indian High School.

Churches can support through item donations or monetary gifts. Items can be gathered at any time from now until August, and be brought to Native American UMC, 800 S Lemon St, Anaheim, CA (please arrange a time), funds can be provided via check, made to Native American UMC, or gift card, and items can be purchased for you. Items can also be shipped to Native American UMC, 818 S Lemon St, Anaheim, CA 92805 (parsonage). 

It is with many thanks from the support in years past that we continue this ministry for the students and community of Sherman Indian High School, here in the boundaries of the California-Pacific Annual Conference of the UMC, on the traditional homelands of the Cahuilla, Serrano, Tongva, Tataviam, Acjahemen, Chumash, and Kumeyaay peoples.

Wado – Thank You! Tohidu – Good Peace!

Rev. Gregory Douglass
Native American UMC of So Cal & Native American Fellowship
Cal-Pac Committee On Native American Ministries