The Maple Fire Department will be hosting a meeting for the Cherokee Nation RCIF (Rural Communities Initiative Foundation) on Tuesday July 2, at 6 p.m. at the fire station. Everyone from the community is invited for brisket sandwiches. Attendees will also have an opportunity to learn more about the RCIF and what it is doing in local, rural communities.
The RCIF is a non-profit organization whose goal is to help people in the community help themselves by utilizing programs already in place. It currently operates on money raised through fundraisers and donations.
According to Sammy Eagle, president, the foundation began in February and has been holding community breakfasts, dinners and also held a community Easter Egg Hunt in the Liberty/Belfonte Community with almost 200 people attending.
"We want to get out in the rural communities that are farther away from towns like Sallisaw and Stilwell where some of these people don't have access to services and don't go to town often. We want to open up opportunities for people and help make their lives better," Eagle stated.
The foundation has been reaching out to area communities such as Liberty, Belfonte, Nicut, Maple and hopes to host an event in the Central area soon.
"We want to have fun activities for kids and give them something to do," stated Eagle. "We would like to some day have a computer lab set up that people can use."
Lynden Emberton, foundation treasurer, said that they have been trying to get out and introduce themselves to communities. "We've already done several things to let them know we are here," Emberton said.
The foundation offers information on services available but also provides a helping hand in the form of manual labor when there is a need. According to Emberton they have already helped with more than 50 clean up or mowing projects of those in need including the elderly and/or disabled. "If we know the need is there, we're ready to help," stated Emberton.
Eagle and Emberton both stated that the foundation isn't just available to help Native Americans. They are all about serving rural communities.
"We have lots of things planned for the future and we are very blessed by the progress made in a short time," concluded Eagle.
KXMX News Staff
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