Chariots for Children was established in November 2015 to benefit the less fortunate children in the Sioux Falls, SD area. We focus our efforts on partnering with a local organization that has access to large numbers of children that are stricken with illness, below the median income and/or needing guidance because of a broken family. We provide bikes, scooters, wagons and walking aids to the children in an attempt to bring families together to foster the meaning of giving from the heart.
Over 100 individuals gather with family and friends to assemble all of the items, which we refer to as “The Build”, in efforts to give true meaning to a hands on experience and the power of giving. Once “The Build” is complete breakfast is provided to allow individuals to partake in some fellowship with all that attend. The event is funded 100% by sponsorships from local businesses and private individuals with every dollar utilized to purchase the Chariots. A donation is not required to participate in the event. In 2017 Chariots for Children attained the 501(c)3 charitable organization status to provide additional benefits for those businesses and individuals who choose to donate.
In 2015 we were able to give away 107 Chariots to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sioux Empire for their kids! For 2016 we achieved 126 Chariots for Big Brothers Big Sisters and additional Chariots for deserving children in surrounding communities. In 2017 and 2018 the number of recipients were 176 and 150 by adding additional programs for the St. Francis House, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Bishop Dudley House, Kidstop Daycare, United Child Care & Pre-school, Pine Ridge/Cheyenne Reservations and Tri Valley Schools. We were also able to provide bike locks for all the recipients to ensure that the Chariots would be safe and secure.
2018 also created another opportunity in the community through a partnership with the local Cub Scout Troops. These young individuals arrived early on the build day to earn time towards their badges. They assisted in building a few bikes before the rest of the volunteers arrived. We also received 300 lbs of non-perishable food donations on the day of the build that were donated to the Food Bank at Feeding South Dakota.
Our goal is to continue to grow the event for 2019 not necessarily by the number of Chariots, but by the number of participants. We are focusing more on the quality of the Chariots by doing more quality control to ensure the safety for the recipients.
To add additional funding for the 2019 Build, we have also partnered with Amazon by enrolling in the Amazon Smile program. We encourage everyone to utilize this program when ordering online.
Find us on the web at https://chariots4children.com/ or on Facebook at @chariotsforchildren.
Website Donated by Todd Hemme