All children deserve to make meaningful memories during this holiday season; time to be shared with family, friends, with fretting forgotten for the time being. Some of our favorite memories are receiving presents from any occasion – a gift, just for me, with no hand-me-downs? You never forget your first gift from Santa! Yet even better than receiving gifts from Santa as a child is becoming Santa for a child. So often in our program, the children are growing up before their time – between supporting a sick family member that public healthcare can’t, raising younger siblings while parents are working late, or just accepting that a tight budget takes priority this winter.

No family should have to choose between putting food on the table and putting gifts under a tree. Running Strong’s Toys for Tribes helps relieve some of that holiday pressure with charitable contributions from our supporters going to provide children on the reservation with presents from “Santa” and with those gifts, lasting memories. In previous drives we have spread holiday cheer to more than 1,500 Pine Ridge children – the equivalent of a preschool, elementary school, and high school population combined!

Oyate Teca’s program director Rose Fraser expresses her gratitude for the Running Strong family’s assistance during the long winter, saying “Oyate Teca’s Christmas Party brightens the lives of Native children by making sure they are not forgotten during the holiday season. Our Christmas Party adds an extra touch of joy for Native children and families during the holiday season by providing free entertainment, gifts, treats, a visit from Santa and special memories.”

Join Running Strong this holiday season in showing these children that there are people who care about their Christmas morning just as much their own. Any small amount you contribute goes a long way for big smiles this December!

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