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Published November 21, 2013, 10:02 AM

Holiday baskets on the way to troubled SD ranchers

Some ranchers and others in southwestern North Dakota are sending a bit of holiday cheer to their counterparts in northwestern South Dakota who are recovering from a devastating early October blizzard.

By: Associated Press,

AMIDON, N.D. — Some ranchers and others in southwest North Dakota are sending a bit of holiday cheer to their counterparts in northwest South Dakota who are recovering from a devastating early October blizzard.

Donations including turkeys, homemade pies and money have been coming in from around Slope County, says volunteer Linda Narum. More than 200 people — from a senior center to a one-room country schoolhouse to a 4-H club — have contributed items or volunteer time for the Thanksgiving baskets.

“I was just overwhelmed at the groundswell of people wanting to make a difference,” Narum said.

Children began putting the baskets together in the church in Amidon on Wednesday and were continuing the work Thursday. Volunteers plan to deliver the baskets to 55 South Dakota ranchers on Friday.

The blizzard that hit with surprising intensity on Oct. 4 dumped up to 4 feet of snow in western South Dakota, killing about 14,000 cattle and about 1,500 sheep, horses and bison.

Slope County Extension Agent Shelby Hewson said people are taking part in the holiday project because, “when people are hurting and in need, to be able to put something together for them, whether it’s just a smile or whether it’s food in this case, to be able to just share love.”

Narum said each basket contains a Thanksgiving card saying, “May this give you some gentle moments and moments of peace, this Thanksgiving holiday.”

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