Share a smile: Refugee Christmas Gift Giveaway

Photo courtesy of ChrissyMorin

Photo courtesy of ChrissyMorin

Want to share a smile this Christmas? Give a gift to a newly-arrived refugee family!

Since 2006, Pat Reichert, volunteer extraordinaire, has headed up the Refugee and Immigration Center’s annual Refugee Christmas Gift Giveaway. Partners like Augustana, First Lutheran Church, and many individuals throughout the community share the joy of the season by donating presents to people who have fled war and persecution and arrived in the U.S. during the last year.

“The Christmas Giveaway is a great example of the welcoming nature of the Sioux Falls community,” says Pat. “It says a lot when people are willing to give a gift to brighten up the holidays of someone they’ve never met.”

This year, 278 refugee individuals are hoping to receive gifts, but we need more sponsors to make that happen. Would you consider giving a gift to brighten someone’s holiday this year? The types of gifts refugees receive seem small—a toy for a child, a blanket or warm hat for an adult—but they can make a big difference for a child with few toys or parents who have never survived a South Dakotan winter before.

Pat hopes to have the items collected, wrapped, and delivered to case workers by December 14th.

If you’d like more information or to give a gift, large or small, please contact Pat at or(605) 526-6225.

The staff at Lutheran Social Services Refugee & Immigration Center say “THANK YOU!” for your generous contribution, but it might sound a little different from the people receiving your gift: Merci! Shokran! Asante sana! Dondevat! Gracias!


Gift ideas include:

Blankets (twin/full size, no throws)

Towels (hand, bath and wash cloths)

Sheet sets (twin and full size)

Bed pillows

Pots and pans (stew pots especially)

Cooking utensils

Baking dishes/casseroles


Tea pots

Mixing bowls

Dish sets

Flatware sets

Water glasses


Disposable diapers

Purses/backpacks/carry-all bags

Age appropriate toys

Coloring books/colors


Simple board games (limited English)

Spiral notebooks, pens & pencils (with sharpener)

DVD/CD players

Shampoo (no conditioner)

Hand lotion

Shaving Cream/disposable razors

Lip gloss/chap stick


Post by Amy S.Z., Refugee & Immigration

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: