Volunteers help ensure that children have a Christmas to remember.
On Native American reservations of the Southwest, Christmas can be a time of particular stress. All year long, residents cope with scarce jobs, low incomes, and severely limited opportunities for shopping — but during the holidays, these obstacles make it difficult or impossible for most to shop for special food or gifts. Yet, thanks to a helping hand from the Southwest Indian Relief Council, many children have a hot meal or a present to mark the fact that it’s Christmas.

In the weeks before Christmas, the SWIRC Program delivers literally thousands of gifts and stockings to Program Partners on reservations throughout the Southwest. Volunteers and Program Partners make a community affair of stuffing stockings and wrapping presents for children in need. Christmas cheer is spread at holiday parties and dinners, as the presents are distributed.

Children receive toys and candy at their schools or Head Start centers in American Indian reservation communities. Thousands of stockings and holiday gifts are provided to children from toddler to teen. A few communities are also selected to have “Santa Stops” where our staff dress up like Santa and deliver Christmas stockings and toys in a community distribution.