RAPID CITY, S.D. — Residents of North Rapid City communities have faced growing violence, but hope is growing abundantly, too. It’s easy to focus on what’s going wrong during times of hardship, but so many moments and events bring happiness to North Rapid communities each and every day.
Community Outreach Specialist Tyler Read with the Rapid City Police Department worked with pastors and leaders to put together a Christmas party at Renewal MB church to spread light into the dark corners this holiday season.
“As a church, I just think that we should be open to the community, and assist them in any way we can, and so I just love having people here,” says Renewal MB Church’s Lead Pastor Jon Fiester. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Recent efforts to support the future of the North Rapid community have been focused on those who are the future – kids.
“It starts with the parents first,” says community pathfinder John Horton. “I mean we all know this, but if we could at least change the kids’ minds of the negative and show them that there is a positive way, they can go back and let the parents know and maybe they can changer their parents’ minds also.”
That’s why the Christmas party focused on providing activities like painting wooden toys, bingo, a feed, gifts, and prizes. These crafts and games provided opportunities for the little ones to make memories and friends in their neighborhood.
Dozens of children and families painted, ate, laughed, and healed. “Anything we can do as a community to come together and just show each other love and give people hope,” Fiester adds.
In fact, hope was the main message being shared at event. “I’m not going to give up on the community,” says Horton. “I grew up here, my mom lives here, I got family that lives here. And there’s just so much heartache for sure, for sure. So I’m hoping that I’m going to be the light to bring positive and happiness to everyone.”