Since 2015, we have partnered with Sioux Falls Christian radio station, Life 96.5, to focus on our Warm a Neighbor project. Each month, the radio station highlights a non-profit to address a local need. They ask their listeners to help this organization by donating items. We have been fortunate to grow this partnership each year and be one of their “January ministries,” collecting warm winter items for clients at Caminando Juntos, our ministry with Latinos in the Sioux Falls area.
Our partnerships have grown for this event each year. Hy-Vee has continued to provide their seven Sioux Falls grocery store locations as collection points. They also offer their stores to us for booth space to educate the shoppers on the project and bring awareness to what we are doing and the needs of our community. The energy has been contagious as Coffea Roasterie has also agreed to assist at three locations in Sioux Falls. Darin Kaihoi, CEO of Coffea Roasterie, shared, “Coffea is very honored and excited to partner with the Presentation Sisters for the yearly clothing drive because it meets a real need in our community, and involves acts of kindness and generosity from everyday people. It’s easy to forget about our neighbors who may be less visible, and this drive is a wonderful way to acknowledge them, welcome them, and with a simple act of giving, show them that they are valued.” We are ever grateful to all of the partners, knowing that together we are warming hundreds of neighbors each winter!
Caminando Juntos is Spanish for “walking together,” and is the name of our ministry with the Hispanic population in the Sioux Falls area. Their primary purpose is to help create a welcoming presence and respond to the needs of the newer Latino immigrants as they seek to integrate into this culture and make a home among us.
It has been found that many of the Hispanic people who relocate to Sioux Falls are not prepared for the harshness of the winter climate. They do not have warm gloves, mittens, hats, or scarves to wear. We ask the community for help to provide cold weather accessories for the men, women and children who visit the ministry center for assistance.
Here are a few stories from Caminando Juntos of how much these warm winter items are appreciated and inspire hope!
“A young couple came looking for gloves. They were walking and it was a snowy day. They found gloves and their little girl was really excited that we had some new shoes as the ones she had were really wet and old. They were so grateful.”
“A pregnant women and her little girl came to the office at the end of the day looking for assistance. They were walking to our ministry and had gotten lost before finding our office. We provided them with hats, gloves, scarfs, a blanket and shoes. They were really happy. That moment was so heartwarming.”
Caminando Juntos, which began in 2002, continues to grow as the population in Sioux Falls and the surrounding area becomes more diverse. The services provided include:
- Assistance to accessing healthcare, education, legal and social service systems.
- Accompaniment of women and children in abusive relationships.
- Visitation to homes, hospitals and state penitentiary.
- Education through English classes and citizenship preparation.
- Provision of immigration counseling and services by an accredited immigration specialist
- Promotion of human rights for Latinos.