Making Christmas merrier for kids at sober living house with mother in recovery


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — For mothers in recovery for addiction, who are just making ends meet, there isn’t a lot left over for Christmas presents for their children.

That’s where Emily’s Hope comes in. The charity was started by NewsNation affiliate KELO-TV anchor Angela Kennecke in the name of her daughter, who died of an accidental overdose in 2018.

The nonprofit not offers scholarships for treatment at an addiction care center in South Dakota, it also helps support the Emily’s Hope House for women in recovery and their children.

Christmas came early for 29-year-old Tayaune Escobedo and her three children at the Emily’s Hope Oxford Sober Living House.

4-year-old Prosper, 2-year-old Tae’Va and 11-month-old Brennan opened presents purchased with funds through Emily’s Hope.

The gifts range from art and educational supplies to toys. They also got a gas grill for the home and a new play set in the backyard.

Prosper opens presents

“It’s awesome they are willing to donate all these cool toys to these families. A lot of these girls are newly in recovery, they’ve lost everything. They’re paying their rent here. They’re paying for day care. They’re paying their bills, so they may not have a lot of money to be able to buy these cool things.”


Escobedo has been living at the Emily’s Hope House with her three children for just a little more than a month. She completed a nine-month treatment program for alcoholism in 2017, but relapsed after her brother died in June.

“It just changed my life and really affected me — my sobriety; because I just wanted to be numb,” Escobedo said.

She said the support she’s found at the Emily’s Hope House is now keeping her sober and she’s working two fast-food jobs to make ends meet.

That doesn’t leave much for presents for her kids.

“We’re just so fortunate and lucky to be here and to have such a wonderful Christmas like this. I think it’s wonderful,” Escobedo said.

Currently there are seven women and four children living at the Emily’s Hope Oxford House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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