|Our Program Partner received stockings for 75 babies, 300 youths, and 75 teens.|
Marion and Bill host a community Christmas party each year. Families from the Rosebud Sioux Reservation travel on cold, sometimes snowy nights, to join the couple’s celebration.
It’s a mobile party in that it doesn’t always set up in the same location each year. This year’s soirée was hosted by a church in the Native American community of Rosebud.
As always, Marion and Bill prepared for days to pull this meal off for families in their community. Stockings were bagged up carefully by the age group they served. They were ready for Santa — a.k.a. Bill — to swing over his shoulder and make his grand entrance. A meal of traditional fare was served first to get all the stomachs full. The excitement grew for the young children in attendance as they plowed through their turkey and potatoes.
Everyone was so busy, no one noticed that Bill had put his camera down and quietly slipped out of the tidy church basement to put his annual uniform on. Marion edged closer to the door and a hush fell over the families as she explained a special guest was at the door. Then Santa appeared in all his glory!
|The children returned to the table and shared what they had received... including those big smiles of appreciation!|
Children scurried to get a better look at him and smiles were wide and eager! Some of the “tween” students in the audience tried to act cool, but the facade quickly came down as Santa approached them with a “HO HO HO” and a hearty handshake. They were even more excited as he took his seat next to his helpers and they began to call out different age groups starting with the babies first.
One family member in attendance was Leslie. She was there with her children and nephew. Although she lived in Mission, she was staying with her dad in Rosebud during the holidays. She said, “I’m lonely in my home during this time of year.” Mission was just about 15 minutes northwest from Rosebud, so it wasn’t too far away, but this time of year, it could seem much further away.
Her mother had passed away, so it was up to Leslie and her siblings to share in the responsibilities of coordinating the meal and celebrations for their dad. Her dad also pitched in to cook and everything was homemade. Leslie liked to bake and always made “Peanut Butter Hershey Blossom” cookies. They were the yummy peanut butter cookies topped with a Hershey kiss.
|Leslie liked to bake and always made “Peanut Butter Hershey Blossom” cookies.|
Leslie was looking forward to Christmas and spending the day with all five of her siblings and a dozen or more nieces and nephews. She was grateful for the stockings that were being given out. Once all her children received their stocking, they returned to the table and shared what they had received with their mom, including those big smiles of appreciation!
The American Indian Relief Council (AIRC) Program’s Christmas Service provided Christmas stockings to babies, youths, and teens throughout the Northern Plains. Our Program Partner, The Rosebud Soup Kitchen, requested and received stockings for 75 babies, 300 youths, and 75 teens. Over 27,000 babies, youths, and teens in total received these same bags on 23 different reservations in the Northern Plains this Christmas holiday.Thank You for making this service possible!