Wo Otúh’an Wi Toy Drive

(Moon of Giving Away Presents)

The winter solstice is a sacred time for indigenous peoples. It is a time of going inward and gathering with loved ones for warmth, storytelling, nourishment, and expressing gratitude as we head into waníyetu (winter) and its dark, cold moons.

For more than 30 years, the Cheyenne River Youth Project has honored this sacred time with our annual toy drive, which brings holiday joy and magic to children on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. This toy drive is one more way we live Wólakȟota, so our relatives may thrive.

Known today as Wo Otúh’an Wi, or “Moon of Giving Away Presents,” this initiative is about so much more than gifts. It’s about hope and wishes fulfilled. It’s about living our Lakota values of generosity and caring for others — and showing our children they are important, precious, and so loved.

hands wearing winter gloves forming a heart with sunset shining through
smiling kids in car with gifts in trunk

Through Wo Otúh’an Wi, we serve more than 1,000 children in 20 communities scattered across our remote, 2.8-million reservation in north-central South Dakota.

Winter holidays can be a stressful time for many families on the reservation struggling to provide for their children’s basic needs. Some children otherwise may not receive holiday gifts at all.

Each year, we fulfill deeply personal wishes from each child’s Winter Solstice Wish List, delivering carefully wrapped packages with that child’s name on them. Each child receives up to 4 gifts selected with care from their wish list. We also make sure each child receives much-needed warm clothing such as winter coats, hats and socks.

See how the Wo Otúh’an Wi Toy Drive has made a difference in our community as well as for our volunteers and supporters.

You can help!

The toy drive is complete for this winter season.

Please check back in Fall 2023 for next year’s toy drive. We hope you’ll join us in the spirit of generosity and care as we fulfill thousands of wishes for so many deserving children and provide an extra measure of support to their families. 

Young male-presenting person wrapping presents
toddler sitting with wrapped gift

Thank you for your support!