Family leads by example, buys toys for Black Hills Toy Drive

Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 8:39 AM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - When thinking about Christmas, people have memories of opening gifts around the tree. This year, many are struggling to keep up with their holiday shopping lists.

That’s why local businesses and community members started the Black Hills Toy Drive to ensure that children have presents to open on Christmas morning.

And one family is taking advantage of the opportunity to give back while showing their sons the importance of leading by example.

“Today we are trying to buy toys for kids who are in need and who are not as fortunate as other people,” said Xavier Wangen.

The Wangen family grabbed shopping carts and hit the aisles to fill their baskets with toys for kids of all ages.

“There are lots of different ways to give, this is just one of them, and it’s really fun that they were excited to participate and come shopping while being together as a family,” said Jeff Wangen, a sponsor of the toy drive and father.

With more than 600 kids registered to receive toys, and the drive anticipating 2,000 total, there was a sense of pride felt after checking out, knowing these toys are going to underprivileged youth.

“Well, I feel really grateful that this opportunity presented itself because it breaks my heart to hear that some people don’t have anything. On Christmas morning they come downstairs and nothing’s there. So, by giving them something it really gives me a good feeling,” said Nate Wangen.

If you want to donate, toys can be dropped off at participating locations until December 10, and toys for all ages are welcome.

Children in need can still sign-up to receive a toy; registration closes November 10.

Distribution will take place on December 17.