Jake Geske ’21 feels a special connection with the Caddo Nation, a confederacy of southeastern Native American tribes based in Binger, Okla., because his great grandmother was 100% Caddo.
So, when Geske, president and co-founder of Jesuit’s Native American Club, was thinking of a philanthropy for the club for this spring’s annual Mission Drive Day event on April 24, he knew it would be something designed to aid people of the Caddo Nation.
Then coronavirus happened, and Mission Drive Day was cancelled as Jesuit transitioned to virtual classes due to the outbreak.
But Geske and club co-founder Joseph Ringewald ’21 still wanted to help the Caddo Nation in some way.
“Ms. Lauren (with the Caddo Nation), she informed me that there are 16 elders that live alone,” Geske said. “They don't really have as many supplies or opportunities to go out and get supplies (due to) coronavirus.”
In order to help the underserved elders, Geske, Ringewald and club moderator Eric Price formed a club collection to raise essential supplies like hand sanitizer, toilet papers, sanitary wipes, and paper towels. Michael Schellman ’20 and his family donated protective masks, a family friend of the Geskes chipped in, and club members made connections with Caddo Nation elders.
“(We) were able to organize a sign-up sheet for specific elders (for club members) to donate to,” Geske said.
In Geske’s garage, he and Ringewald distributed the supplies into individual care packages, which were shipped to the elders on May 13.
“The support and everything that has come from (the club members) has been awesome,” Geske said.