Last year, thanks to the supporters of Running Strong for American Indian Youth® we were able to play “Santa” to 1,600 Native American children on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation who otherwise would not have had much of a merry Christmas.
With your help, we can do it again this year.
These are just a few of the letters we have already received this year:
“I help my big brother take care of his daughter. I’m basically a good kid,” says 13-year-old Aaliya who is asking for wireless headphones, a deluxe art set with easel, and a leather journal.
“I’ve been very good and do whatever my parents tell me to do. I help my teacher when she needs help,” says 10-year-old Smokey who wants a skateboard, WWE wrestlers and a toy sword.
“I was being a good girl this year in school. I do my work and I listen to my teacher. At home I help my grandma, grandpa and my mom,” says 9-year-old Latiah who is asking for puzzles, headphones and Barbie movies.
As for Julie Garreau, executive director of the Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP), our partner on the reservation which distributes all the toys, “The annual toy drive is really one of our most beloved programs and it brings so much joy and happiness to our community.
“The program isn’t probably a life changing program but it does level the playing field a bit for kids,” she added, noting that they are able to return to school after Christmas and tell their friends that Santa brought them what they asked for.
“CRYP is most grateful for the support we receive from Running Strong,” Garreau told us. “Without the support of Running Strong and others, we couldn’t reach as many kids as we do throughout the year. The holiday toy drive is only one of the many good programs we provide to our community.
“Supporting grassroots efforts is a really wise investment for organizations like yours and it’s what you been doing for years.”