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Osage Nation delivers donated Christmas toys for children, grocery baskets for families

In keeping with the annual Christmas tradition of giving, the Osage Nation provided Senior Housing residents with groceries, as well as gifts for children in need on Dec. 21.

Housing Department employees spent the morning going door-to-door at the Pawhuska Senior Housing Complex to give away grocery bags to elderly residents in the 28-unit complex. In the meantime, nearby workers continued construction on the 10-unit additional duplexes that are being added to the complex. Crews are also working on a 20-unit Fairfax Senior Housing Complex after the Seventh Osage Nation Congress voted during the 10th Special Session to appropriate American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for the project to serve Osages in the Fairfax, Grayhorse Village and western Osage Reservation areas.

Andrea Kemble, director of the ON Financial Assistance Department, said employees from her department and others in the ON Welcome Center coordinated to deliver Christmas toy gifts to area children as part of the annual Tree of Gifts initiative. The goal of the annual toy donation drive is to provide Christmas gifts to children in need, including those who receive support services from the department’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

In early December, the Financial Assistance Department announced the 2021 Tree of Gifts initiative which includes ornaments on the department’s Christmas tree, which contains area children’s wishes that will hang on the tree until generous sponsors from the public fill the donation requests.

That day, employees gathered the donated new toys, mostly wrapped as well as a few youth-sized bicycles, for deliveries at the family residences. Kemble said children receiving gifts lived in Pawhuska, Fairfax, Hominy and Skiatook.     

Kemble also noted families receiving support from the TANF program also received grocery baskets that day, which included hams. Other department employees helping with the toy and food deliveries include those working in Constituent Services and the Tax Commission.  

Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear met with the staff before the deliveries started. Afterward, the Executive Branch stated on social media: “The ONFA Department’s goal is for every child to receive a gift. Many thanks to all who generously donated toys this year!”

For more information on ON Financial Assistance Department services, visit the ON Financial Assistance Department located on the first floor in the Welcome Center at 239 West 12th St. in Pawhuska or call (918) 287-5325. The ONFA services are also on the Nation’s website at:


Benny Polacca

Original Publish Date: 2021-12-25 00:00:00


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Benny Polacca
Benny Polacca started at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter and has covered various stories and events impacting the Osage Nation and Osage people. Polacca is part of the News team awarded the Native American Journalist Association’s Elias Boudinot Free Press Award in 2014 and other NAJA Media Awards and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter awards for news coverage and photography. Polacca is an Arizona State University graduate and participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. He previously worked at The Forum newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. region as the weeknight reporter.

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