For mothers in recovery for addiction, who are just making ends meet, there isn’t a lot left over for Christmas presents for their children.

That’s where Emily’s Hope comes in. The charity was started by KELOLAND’s Angela Kennecke in the name of her daughter, who died of an accidental overdose in 2018.

The non-profit not only offers scholarships for treatment at the Avera Addiction Care Center, it also helps support the Emily’s Hope House for women in recovery and their children. Emily’s Hope is helping to make Christmas merrier for those kids.

Christmas is coming early for 29-year-old Tayaune Escobedo and her three children at the Emily’s Hope Oxford Sober Living House.

Four-year-old Prosper, two-year-old Tae’Va and 11-month-old Brennan are opening presents purchased with funds through Emily’s Hope.

The gifts range from art and educational supplies to toys to a gas grill for the home and a new playset out back.

“It’s awesome they (Emily’s Hope) are willing to donate all these cool toys to these families. A lot of these girls are newly in recovery, they’ve lost everything. They’re paying their rent here. They’re paying for day care. They’re paying their bills, so they may not have a lot of money to be able to buy these cool things.” Jessica Hromas of the Oxford Sober Living Houses said.

Jessica Hromas, Oxford Sober Living Houses

Escobedo has been living at the Emily’s Hope House with her three children for just a little more than a month. She completed a nine-month treatment program for alcoholism in 2017 but relapsed after her brother died in June.

“It just changed my life and really affected me–my sobriety; because I just wanted to be numb,” Escobedo said.

She says the support she’s found at the Emily’s Hope House is now keeping her sober and she’s working two fast-food jobs to make ends meet. That doesn’t leave much for presents for her kids.

“We’re just so fortunate and lucky to be here and to have such a wonderful Christmas like this. I think it’s wonderful,” Escobedo said.

Currently there are seven women and four children living at the Emily’s Hope Oxford House. There are four Oxford Sober Living Houses in Sioux Falls.
Emily’s Hope