SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — KELOLAND Media Group viewers have come to learn Angela Kennecke’s new mission in life after the sudden death of her daughter, Emily. On this Christmas Eve, Emily’s Hope made the holidays a little brighter for some children in Sioux Falls.

“While the longing for my daughter will never cease,” Kennecke wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. “Moving forward with my life and our cause is making a difference in the lives of others.”

In the nearly two years that have followed, our viewers have been brought along the journey and supported Kennecke.

KELO-TV’s 5 p.m. anchor and investigative reporter said on Christmas Eve morning she woke up to a text from her friend Rebecca, who started Oxford Sober Living Houses in Sioux Falls.

“She sent me photos of the children living at the Emily’s Hope Oxford House. Their mothers are in recovery and this is their shot at a better life,” Kennecke wrote. “Thanks to all the work that has gone into Emily’s Hope, we were able to purchase art supplies, books on dealing with a parent with addiction, a wagon and TV for the home.”

Kennecke also said the moms are also getting gift cards to Hy-Vee to purchase food for their families. 

“All of those gifts were wrapped under the tree and the photos show how much the children delighted in opening them,” Kennecke wrote. “I felt my spirit being lifted out of its sorrow for a moment. I know grief and longing will return.”

For now, Kennecke said, she is going to take this Christmas miracle with an open heart.

“Emily would love seeing these sweet little faces and the excitement in their eyes. Her spirit lives on through their joy this holiday season,” she said.

If you’d like to learn more about Emily’s Hope, watch Kennecke’s story and our continuing coverage right here on or visit the organization’s website.