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December 15, 2012 10:09 PM

One Thousand Underprivileged Kids Receive Gifts

To most, buying a new pair of shoes isn't something to think twice about, but for some children in the KELOLAND community, their new shoes are the only thing on their mind.

"I'm really happy because I got new shoes." Henry Aguilar-Portil said.

"They're orange!" Colten Coaker said.

For the past twenty-three years, Goodwill industries have been lighting up childrens' holiday by having a Christmas shoe and mitten party. Organizers give away a free pair of shoes, mittens, socks and hats to kids whose families cannot afford those things.

"I'm excited because they have two-laces, and that my brother has them too." said Joey Aguilar-Portil.

Over one thousand underprivledged children from Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Brookings, Yankton, Watertown and Rapid City ages 5 to 11 were invited to attend todays party. The kids were between the ages five and eleven.

The shoe party is funded by contributors from hundreds of generous individuals from across the community. And over 150 volunteers from soldiers, firefighters, and people from across the community came out to help with todays event.

Volunteer John Halverson, also known as Santa Claus, says being able to be a part of something like this is an overwhelming feeling.

"it's overwhelming, and its, it just makes you feel good to do something like this," said Halverson.

And Goodwill Events Coordinator Betty Durfee says this event is so important because it shows these kids how important they truly are.

"I think that we need to love all these kids while they're here and make them know they're very important to our communities," sad Durfee. 

The children also participated in a bean bag toss and even received some treats from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Durfee says being able to participate in this event is simply rewarding.

"Oh it absolutely brings back the meaning of Christmas. I go home feeling like it's the best," said Durfee.

 

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