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Shoeboxes are gathered and are ready for giving

RAPID CITY AND PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA -- Churches across the Dakotas Conference have gathered thousands of gifts for children including three generations of the Stotz family in Rapid City and over 500 shoe boxes from Pierre First United Methodist Church. 

Triune Power

Three generations of the Stotz family joined the Packing Party for Shoebox Christmas on November 10, 2013.  This was the culmination of efforts by three churches in Rapid City, South Dakota: First UMC, Knollwood Heights UMC and Canyon Lake UMC.

The donated items  were gathered throughout the fall by church members.  The gifts were assembled at Knollwood Heights UMC, where 40 volunteers from all three churches packed 352 boxes.

The boxes have been delivered to American Horse School at Allen, South Dakota and will be opened at the children's Christmas Party in December.

Pictured are Shelby Stotz, her grandmother Donna Peppers and her mother Paula Stotz.

Ever Wonder What 504 Christmas Shoeboxes Look Like?

Every year, Pierre First UMC collects and assembles Christmas shoeboxes to be given to babies, children, and youth that otherwise would not receive a Christmas gift. Each shoebox contains mittens/gloves, hat, toothbrush, and toothpaste. In addition to these essentials the boxes are stuffed with age appropriate toys and goodies, from toy cars, to hair care products.

A few years ago, the church was fornuate to have Mike and Libby Flowers, Spirit Lake Ministry Center come and share a testimony of what it was like to help deliver the shoeboxes.

One story many remember well that Mike shared with the congregation  was "how excited a little boy was that he was able to now have his very own toothbrush, and that he no longer had to share with his brother, thanks to a Christmas shoebox program."

After hearing the stories and the surprising number of children that could benefit from the Christmas Shoebox Program, the co-chairs of the Missions Committee of Pierre First United Methodist Church knew that the committee and the church could do more.

In 2012, Pam Hoepfer and Linda Arbach set a goal of donating 300 Christmas shoesboxes. Hoepfer and Arbach were ecstatic when they reached a little over 365 boxes!

In 2013, the goal was to reach 400. Donations poured in and the missions the group kept filling boxes.  In the end,  504 Christmas shoeboxes were ready to be picked up by Mike and Libby Flowers. Never in the history of the church participating in the Christmas Shoebox program have they ever had that many shoeboxes before.

Children, youth, and adults helped make this dream a reality. It was an entire church event that was guided by the dedication and hard work of the missions committee. But they're not stopping there. They've already begun looking ahead, setting goals for 700 shoeboxes for 2014 and 1000 shoeboxes for 2015.


Dakotas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church 605.996.6552 1331 University Ave. Mitchell SD 57301-0460 US 43.69689310 -98.03291320 122 W. Franklin Avenue Ste 400 Minneapolis MN 55404 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 W University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000