And as after receiving decorations for their home, the Nitunga's are getting an All American Christmas.
But the support from the community is something Nitunga is thankful to have. "To these people who helped me in different materials, I say, I pray to God to make benediction to them, because they have good heart to help people," Nitunga said.
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Christmas night is drawing to a close, and most of those presents under the tree are already open. But what if all you wanted for Christmas was clothing to keep your kids warm?
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For the second year, more than two dozen judicial circuit employees from Minnehaha County and Lincoln County teamed up with Volunteers of America to fulfill several families' wish lists. "We had pots and pans, dishes, towels, sheets, bedding, just everything that you could imagine that people would need to keep their household running," Kris Rees, Minnehaha County Domestic Violence Coordinator, said.
But those who helped hope they can make a difference that lasts. "There are people in Sioux falls and in the community that realize that times are rough for people and we're willing to help out. It's never easy to ask for help," Rees said.
is celebrating their first Christmas this year.
First Christmas For Refugees
As Tanzanian refugees who came to the country just nine months ago, working hard to support a family of nine children hasn't been the easiest journey for father Elie Nitunga.
the lists they sent us, it wasn't your average, you know, iPod or a stereo or the latest Nintendo game. Or to get through the day if it's not the holidays," Rees said.
But the gifts, and the smiles, were made possible with the help of the community. "Very happy, very happy. Everybody here, we feel very happy because we did not know if we would find anything to celebrate this day," Nitunga, of Sioux Falls, said.
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"Clothes for my children, me too, for my wife also," Nitunga said.
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