Above, students and staff St. Katherine Drexel School in Sioux Falls, S.D., collected warm winter items for the Warm a Neighbor project.
Since 2015, the Presentation Sisters have partnered with local businesses in the Sioux Falls, S.D., area to collect warm winter items for those in need. 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 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. Coffee Roasterie has also offered three locations in the area that are collection sites as well.
The past two years have brought on new partners of Billion Automotive and NyBerg’s Ace and Dakota Workwear.
“Our Nyberg’s Ace and Dakota Workwear locations had many compliments from our customers saying how thankful they were that we had collection bins for warm clothing & accessories to donate and help those in need. We had great success filling up each of our collection bins at our six Sioux Falls locations. It was also a great way to lift our employee’s spirits up in helping our customers and knowing we were doing good in the community. It was definitely a win-win project for us!”
Marin with NyBerg’s Ace
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!
“Moving to a new country is hard for immigrants, but adapting to a cold weather is another big challenge if they move here during winter season. One cold day, a family from Colombia came to our office looking for resources because they were new in town. Their youngest son was wrapped in a blanket, wearing a light sweater, no hat or gloves. We provided all the winter gear they needed (coats, hats, socks, mittens), and we could see how happy and warm they looked when they left.”
“This winter has been graceful with the snowfalls and the below zero temperatures compared to other years, yet people’s need for winter items had been quite big this year. We have been welcoming many new people into our office and our city as well. Sandra and her family had just arrived this past December. Coming from a hot climate, they were not prepared for South Dakota’s cold winters. We were able to donate jackets, hats, scarves, and other winter items for everyone in the family; they were all so thankful and grateful for the gifts. One of her sons exclaimed how excited he was because now he was no longer going to be cold and he was going to be able to play in the snow with his new friends! Moments like these make our hearts full. We are grateful to all of the people that helped us make this Warm a Neighbor program possible each and every year.”
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