Some families who are struggling have a difficult time putting gifts under the Christmas tree. But the St. Francis House in Sioux Falls is making sure families still have a merry Christmas.
Every year organizers ask families and businesses in the community to adopt a family for the holidays. For those on the receiving end of the adoption, it's a holiday wish come true.
"It took both of us back when we heard about it because we've never heard about such things. That just doesn't happen in our world," Deborah Burns said.
Burns and her daughter moved here from Florida with no source of income. She now has a steady job and has recently been adopted thanks to the St. Francis House.
"Children, they're innocent; they don't know. To them, it's an exciting time. They get that new toy, that new bike or that new tricycle, or whatever, you know. But what they don't understand is that the parents, it's hard on them and if you're homeless on top of it, it just compounds the problem. That's why it's just so, I don't know, a Godsend for lack of better way of putting it when someone wants to come along an adopt someone," Burns said.
Burns doesn't have the money to get her 16-year-old daughter the "teen girl" gifts that she would like. But that's not an issue anymore.
"When I was told about it, it was such a relief off of me. I felt like a 10-ton weight had been lifted off of my shoulders, that my kid was going to have a Christmas," Burns said.
She says it's an expression of compassion that wouldn't have happened in Florida. The family that adopted her and her daughter is anonymous but she would like them to know how grateful she is.
"I don't know who the adopted family is, but I just want to say thank you. It means a lot and we wish everyone a happy holiday season," Burns
There are still nine families on the St. Francis House's adoption list. If you would like to help, visit the St. Francis House website.