Christmas is a time for joy, happiness, and a celebration of newness in all things.  For many families, newness means many gifts stacked under a tree with the latest action figure or trying a new recipe for a large family feast.

But other families in our community are struggling, and for them, the upcoming holidays brings additional stress instead peace and hope. Over the past year, more low income families are experiencing lost hours, a crisis, or high housing costs in the Sioux Falls community.  Through your help with Sharing Christmas, you can bring warmth and holiday cheer to a family who truly is in need this year.

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Sharing Christmas was created as a way to centralize distributing holiday assistance to families in need in Sioux Falls.  The program matches those families at the holidays with a donor family that can help provide gifts, clothes and sometimes even a Christmas meal.

Last year over 200 more people applied for help than could be matched.  With your help, it is our prayer that no family has an unmet need this Christmas. Would you consider bringing joy to a struggling family this holiday season? You can adopt a family to bless this December with the love and compassion of Christ. You’ll ease their financial concerns and put Christmas morning smiles on their faces.

Here’s how you can help:

Adopt a family!
Both “open adoptions” (where the donor meets the family) and “closed adoptions” (where donor does not meet the family) are available.

Organizer Randi Helder says, “We are encouraging donors and families to choose the open adoption process. It is a wonderful experience for both donors and families as everyone realizes that real people are involved. So many times a family can receive help from an organization or even a church congregation and it is easy to forget that it is a person who cared and has taken an interest in them, therefore, actually seeing them means so much.  Also for the donors it is a meaningful opportunity to see that a real family needs and enjoys their caring.  It is a double gift to all, as so often the gift is enlarged by the personal experience.”

Donor families will receive a written summary of the gift requests of the family they are matched with and they will purchase gifts, gift cards, groceries, etc. for their adopted family.  For ‘closed’ adoptions, gifts will be dropped off by December 3rd to the Sioux Falls Ministry Center.  In an ‘open’ adoption the donor will deliver the gifts directly to the family, as close to December 3rd as practical.

For more information, please call or check out the website of Center of Hope Phone: 605- 334-9789 or The Community Outreach  Phone: 605-331-3935

Or if you are ready to go, ADOPT a family right here!

The program needs to have all donors signed up by Sunday, November 11th. This ensures the program has the time needed time to enter data, match, shop and deliver. Donors will receive a letter specifying their adopted family’s needs by November 16th.

Thank you for taking this opportunity to show the love of Christ in action by adopting a family in need!

If you would like to help a family but do not wish to adopt a family, consider donating to the new Christmas Store.

The Christmas Store provides parents the chance to shop and provide Christmas gifts for their family with pride and the ability to choose for their children.  Toys that are donated will be set up and sold at a greatly reduced rate of 10% the retail value.   For a family in need, they can shop with dignity.  For the donor, you will directly help a family care for the needs of their family while promoting self-sufficiency.

Bring your new toy donations (in packages but not gift-wrapped) to the Life 96.5 Studios during November, or to the Big Daddy Weave concert at the Washington Pavilion on November 11th.

Volunteer your time! Sharing Christmas needs volunteers for data entry and also for the mailing portion of the campaign. If you would like to help, sign up HERE.

If you are a family needing assistance:

Between now and November 9, families requesting assistance can pick up/complete applications at agencies in Sioux Falls where they have a case worker (SD Department of Social Services, Inter-Lakes Community Action, BrightStart, Center of Hope and The Community Outreach).  Applications must be submitted to Center of Hope or The Community Outreach by November 9th.  Applications will be qualified, ages and interests of the family will be recorded, and families will be matched with a ‘donor’.

Randi Helder explains

Why Hands & Feet?

At Life 96.5, we believe each follower of Christ is called to be His hands and feet in our homes, communities, and the world. Serving in Jesus name is the concept behind Life 96.5 Hands and Feet. Each month we introduce you to a new project or organization in our area that we’d like you to know more about. Hands and Feet gives you an opportunity to serve our community by getting involved in what these groups are doing by serving as the hands and feet of Jesus.