Making Memories

For many years now, the Cheyenne River Youth Project®has been bringing joy to families on Christmas day through our annual Christmas Toy Drive. The Christmas Toy Drive is not just about the gifts that children receive under their tree – it is about the gift of hope and wishes fulfilled.

Many of our children suffer the effects of poverty everyday, continuously going without, knowing that luxuries like new toys or clothes are simply not available to them. Our children handle this reality with an incredible grace and humility that is truly touching. This is why watching their faces on Christmas morning, as we arrive with their gifts, is so special for us.

The program does take a lot of preparation and dedication on the part of our staff and volunteers, as well as our wonderful donors. CRYP accepts “Letters to Santa” from October-late November and passes them on to friends and organizations all over the country. These generous individuals then choose gifts with personal attention to each child’s particular dreams and wishes. The gifts are sent to CRYP for sorting and wrapping by a tireless group of community volunteers who work day and night to have the work completed by Christmas Eve. Santa and his elves are then up bright and early on Christmas Day to hand deliver each family’s gifts.

Our kids always surprise us with their undulled excitement, gratitude and even cookies left out for Santa to sample as he passes through! Families gather together to watch their children’s smiling faces as they open their gifts and ohhh and awww over each item. The program serves over 1,200 children all over Eagle Butte and the surrounding communities.

CRYP would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all of our friends and family participating in the Toy Drive each year. Thanks also to Fairview High School (Boulder Colorado), the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Spirit of Sovereignty Foundation, Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation, Fredricks, Peeples and Morgan LLC, St. Louis Chapter of CRYP, Running Strong for American Indian Youth®and Christian Relief Services, who lend significant support to the program.

We encourage and welcome you to be a part of the annual Christmas Toy Drive by sponsoring a “Dear Santa” letter, sending a gift from the 2014 Christmas Wish List (Found Here) , making a cash donation or by volunteering in Santa’s CRYP Workshop.

For more information, please contact Julie at (605)964-8200 or Donations can be sent to:

Cheyenne River Youth Project
Christmas Toy Drive
PO Box 410
Eagle Butte, SD 57625

or online:


Take a minute and check our our 2016 Christmas Toy Drive teaser video.


Here are a few images from the 2016 Christmas Toy Drive. Thank you to everyone who supported this year’s event – you are greatly appreciated.

All the best in the new year,

the Cheyenne River Youth Project