Please accept our sincere “Thank You” on behalf of “OUR” kids and their families for your generous support this Christmas. Your help for families came in the form of child or family adoptions, cash donations, toys, clothing, gift cards, and homemade pillow cases – all representing your love for others in our community. We found a thankful home for each gift donated and used the financial contributions to buy toys and gift cards. You opened your hearts to spread Christmas joy to families currently experiencing difficult times. Thank you so very much!!!
Sue Horstmeyer, a long-time educator in Dell Rapids, started the project over 30 years ago by helping a single family that she saw needed some extra help. Over the years she continued to adopt more families and recruited her friends to help families as well. She named the project “Christmas for OUR Kids” because she wanted to emphasis that it is a community project helping to take care of their own. It really does take a village. In 2007, when she retired and moved to Sioux Falls, she asked our local ESA chapter to take over the project. The Dell Rapids chapter of ESA (Epsilon Sigma Alpha), an international women’s service organization, has been in Dell Rapids since 2004.
This is the 12th year the local ESA chapter has spear-headed the “Christmas for OUR Kids” project. Over the years we have had tremendous community support. Three angel trees are put up after Thanksgiving for those in the community that want to buy gifts, the public schools have a weeklong donation drive, and the local quilt shop customers donate home-made pillow cases for each child.
A special thank you to the “Dells Elves”, another local group of women who make a difference in Dell Rapids. For the last 4 years, the “Dells Elves” have been holding a fundraiser at Norby’s to benefit the “Christmas for OUR Kids” project. Thanks to the Dells Elves and all of those in the community that donate to and attend the fundraiser. The monetary donation makes a world of difference to the project and these families.
In 2007 when ESA took the project over from Sue, we helped 28 families with 75 kids. This year we helped 56 families with 136 kids. Thank you on behalf of “OUR” kids and their families for your contributions to our 2018 Christmas drive. You’ve made the “Dell Rapids” difference!
Here are a few excerpts from the many thank you notes sent by the families we helped:
- “Thank you so much for helping us for Christmas!! Bless you.”
- “I just want to say thank you again. This is an amazing thing you guys do and once I am on my feet I will definitely be donating and giving back.”
- “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”