“Us being a part of that and then helping today and giving back to the incoming freshmen or transfer students that could use it too, I just wanted to be helpful.” – Aiyanna Tanyan
Byline: Braden Harper/Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – College can be a challenging time for first-time students trying to make ends meet. Often, young students are adjusting to living on their own for the first time. Independent living creates a list of essential needs. The College of the Muscogee Nation helped meet those needs by hosting the annual Day of Giving Event on Sept. 21.
CMN students and faculty organized the event. Students Aiyanna Tanyan (Seminole), Hunter Johnson (Muscogee), and Shaylyn Proctor (Muscogee) donated their time to serve their classmates.
Tanyan said she wanted to give back after personally experiencing the effects of the event’s generosity.
“A lot of people come together here for the students at the college,” Tanyan said. “They had the day of giving last year, which was big and helpful.”
The event provided donated items such as food, clothes, toiletries and school supplies. According to Tanyan, although these items may seem small, they go a long way in helping students.
“It just takes a lot off of you not having to go to the store and buy those things out of your pocket,” Tanyan said. “Us being a part of that and then helping today and giving back to the incoming freshmen or transfer students that could use it too, I just wanted to be helpful.”
The event featured various Muscogee (Creek) Nation booths, including Behavioral Health, Mvskoke Youth Services and the College of the Muscogee Nation. Various religious organizations, including Somebody Cares and Save Our Streets Ministries, were present to provide a blessing for the community and present an interpretive dance. Some came as far as Texas and the East Coast.
Marlene Yeo is the director of Somebody Cares New England. Yeo, like many others, traveled hundreds of miles to volunteer their time and serve others.
“This is our fifth time out here to the Muscogee Creek Nation, and it is a joy to come and serve,” Marlene Yeo said.
According to Yeo, what brought her to serve the Muscogee (Creek) Nation was a spiritual call to action.
“All of a sudden, in prayer, something happened to me. Something that has not happened before, which was a compelling love that I felt for the First Nations People,” Yeo said. “I heard God speak to me and say, ‘I have not forgotten My people,’ and from that moment, I knew there was something I needed to do.”
Although the supplies and essential living items were genuinely appreciated, what meant more to the students were the people that came together to serve the student body.
“Whether you’re a Creek Citizen or non-tribal, you’re here, and all these people are coming together to help you,” Tanyan said.