User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

50° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options



Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started. | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


Weathering The Charity Cycle

December 21, 2012, 10:13 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Weathering The Charity Cycle

Home is extra special this time of year. For some families one Sioux Falls home makes all the difference in the world.

“My Christmas wish is that all my kids could go home is actually my biggest wish, but that's not going to happen,” Ronald McDonald House Operations Director Sandy Free said.

The Ronald McDonald House is ending its own record-breaking year. At a time when things tend to slow down, there's no sign of that this year, as more families than ever are looking for a warm place to stay while their children are being treated at nearby hospitals.

“You don't plan on a medical challenge or an illness. It's a crisis and it happens immediately. And you go into crisis mode,” Director of Donor Relations Cami Veire said.

This organization takes the worry away, providing everything families need, including the support to just keep going. And it depends on community support to do that all year long.

“With the support that we've gotten collectively, we've made a pretty good haul. So it's exciting,” McDonald’s manager Jackie Ball said, as she unpacked boxes of donated goods.

Just days before Christmas, a group from all Sioux Falls Area McDonalds brought donated items from their customer drive. It includes toys for the kids who have to be away from their beds on Christmas. There are also pantry items and even everyday things to keep the house going.

“All the things that you need in your house, we need in our house,” Ball said.

“That was a wonderful surprise when they came and told us they would like to do that,” Free said.

Free says the organization is abundantly blessed at Christmas. It's a sharp difference from just a few months ago when the house was hard up for everything from volunteers to repairs to supplies, and more. Christmas came early when the community stepped up in a big way.

“It doesn't matter if its summer time, it doesn't matter if it's Christmas Day, they're still in those needs and so it's important to take care of them,” Free said.

The two Sioux Falls houses can provide shelter for 26 families. They've been on a waiting list for month as more and more children come to Sioux Falls for critical care services.

“If this wasn't here they would probably be sleeping in the hospital in a waiting room or in their car,” Veire said.

So even at a time when blessing abound for this house, Veire says that's why the work continues.

“The value of a night's stay is $50, so what we're seeing happen is a lot of families instead of naming gifts or drawing names will take the money they'd give each other and adopt a family,” Veire said.

“Almost the entire month of December if you look at our calendar we were booked. But if you look at our calendar come January through March it starts to get quiet again,” Free said.

So the message is don't stop giving to this charity or another one once you pack up the Christmas tree, because the work continues year round. And even the smallest thing brings light to others.

The increased demand on the house is also creating a unique need: interpreters, as more and more guests speak other languages. Click here to more information on how to help.

Previous Story

Next Story




View featured stories

You may also like

Woman Leaves Her Mark On Canvas

10/7/2015 10:26 PM

With every stroke, from a pallet of colors, smeared on an ice cream lid, this canvas transforms into something spectacular.

Full Story | Watch
'Finding Noah' To Play In Sioux Falls Theaters

10/6/2015 9:55 PM

A Sioux Falls man will be paying close attention to the documentary titled "Finding Noah," since he's been an ark-hunter himself for man...

Full Story | Watch
The Zenner Tradition At SDSU

10/8/2015 10:15 PM

The red-shirt freshman, currently battling injury, has had to talk about big brother probably more than he'd like.

Full Story | Watch
Diversity In Sioux Falls

10/4/2015 10:30 PM

Sioux Falls has become very diverse over the past few years, but what is it about the area that attracts so many from all over the world?

Full Story | Watch
A Papal Pilgrimage From KELOLAND

10/5/2015 10:09 PM

The Ridders planned their visit to see Pope Francis. Yet, in a huge surprise, they were also able to see another special person on their trip- their d...

Full Story | Watch