By Jill Fox
The COVID-19 pandemic may have forced the Seminole Nation Indian Princess Program to cancel their final two camping trips. Still, it has not stopped them from engaging in socially distanced activities like Zoom meetings, birthday car parades, and community service projects.
The Parkland-based program focuses on building bonds and strong relationships between fathers and daughters. One of the most active Indian Princess programs in the state, they have over 500 families who participate in local activities, including monthly tribal meetings, camping trips, and community service.
The 13 individual father-daughter tribes located predominately in Parkland and Coral Springs have been focusing their efforts on various projects benefitting local hospitals, charities, and essential workers during the pandemic.
“It’s a great lesson to teach these girls about giving back to the community,” said Todd Link, who serves on the Board of directors for the Seminole Nation Indian Princess Program.
Emergency room physician and Parkland resident Dr. Deb Lieberman is very familiar with Indian Princesses, as her daughter, Maryn, was once a member of the Iroquois Tribe. She helped coordinate a project with the current tribe to enable them to provide individually wrapped snacks, drinks, and other goodies to frontline workers in her hospital.
Current Iroquois Tribe members, Todd and his daughter Sammy, a third-grader at Riverglades Elementary, coordinated with Lieberman to donate the refreshments to her staff at West Boca Medical Center. The girls made close to 100 thank you cards, which were distributed at the hospital and their free-standing emergency room in Coconut Creek.
“The girls made about 20 cards each showing support and thanking every one of the frontline healthcare workers, from the doctors to the custodial staff,” said Todd.
West Boca Medical Center displayed the homemade messages in the hospital hallway and shared their gratitude on social media. They said the thank you cards from Dr. Lieberman’s daughter, and her friends were handed out to bring some cheer, and they truly appreciated the children using their creative skills to give back.
Other local tribes chose different ways to help. The Arapahoe Tribe donated boxes of N95 masks to Boca Raton Regional Hospital, while the Mohawk Tribe brought lunch to Coral Springs Medical Center’s emergency room staff.
The girls of the Montauk tribe, also in Parkland, re-purposed money originally intended to be used for their last campout of the season to purchase toys for children at the SOS Children’s Village of Coconut Creek. The toys were sent with notes and letters of encouragement that stressed the importance of staying at home.
“It’s not just about the giving. When you give back, the people really appreciate it,” said Todd.
To support the girls in their ongoing community service project efforts or learn more about the program, visit seminolenation.org.
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