Winter has already arrived in the Great Plains. On the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, the average low temperature is 13 degrees with the high barely above freezing – and that doesn’t account for the wind chill on blustery days.   Winter is one of the most difficult times for families living in areas with little public support as poorly maintained roads become dangerous in the snow and ice, plummeting temperatures make walks to school and work near impossible, and downed utility lines take even longer to repair. This Giving Tuesday we ask you to help make ends meet for these families, especially as the temperatures begin to drop.

Fortunately we have the opportunity to help the children and families of northern and mountainous states survive extreme temperatures by providing them with new winter clothing! A charitable gift from your family will allow us to provide parkas, snow boots, gloves, hats, and scarves to the children and families most at risk in the cold. Proper winter attire becomes the difference between waiting for the school bus safely or staying home, and the relief that a tight budget won’t have to stretch to clothe growing kids this year.

The impact is more than physical according to one of our program partners: “There was a group of four kids that came from one class at a time and we showed them what was donated for the kids at our school. I told them that someone thought of them and wanted them to have things to help keep them warm. With tears in his eyes and a big smile on his face he said ‘They thought of ME!!’ and I said yes they did honey, and he gave me a big ol’ hug. The children were so excited about the jackets and they would parade around and say ‘Look at my new coat.’ They would be smiling the whole time.”

Running Strong is asking for gifts to pay for 5,500 pairs of snow boots, 5,000 coats, and 3,500 hat, glove, and scarf kits to send to our program partners in North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and more. Whatever amount you can afford to spare this Giving Tuesday will be appreciated beyond your belief.

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