Even the smallest good deed can make a big difference in your neighborhood. Take Andrew Mack, for instance. He and his neighbor take turns cutting the strip of grass between their houses, rather than arguing about whose property it rests on.
"If you're there and it looks like it needs to be cut, you cut it," Mack said, laughing. "If somebody needs help that's just the way it works."
It may not seem like much, but perhaps we could all take a lesson from Mack. Sioux Falls City leaders say these gestures are just what the community needs. As you keep your yards, houses, sidewalks and overall properties up to code and looking nice, think of the people who need a little extra help.
"Maybe they (neighbors) need some assistance. Maybe life has overwhelmed them, and they don't want to be a bad neighbor, but they have nobody else to turn to," Kevin Smith, Asst. Director of Planning and Building Services, said.
Officials want to hear about your good neighbor stories and want you to share them. Smith said the City gets about 6,000 complaints per year about code violations people see in their neighborhoods. The most common calls include reports of someone who has not raked leaves, shoveled sidewalks or mowed grass. Taking care of some of these issues within neighborhoods helps code enforcement employees focus on some of the more pressing complaints they receive.
Some good deeds are bigger than others. At a news conference about fall property cleanup, Smith referenced a house on South Summit Avenue. It has been boarded up for weeks and abandoned.
"There was trash all the way around the place," T.R. Maves, who lives next door, said.
Maves said the house has been a magnet for parties, which is apparent because there are still small liquor bottles littering the yard. It has been largely ignored up until now.
"A big neighbor concern, obviously. The people lived there never did clean it up, so somebody had to do it. We all got together to clean it up," Maves said.
As Mack will tell you, by simply cutting your neighbor's grass, you can help friendships grow.
"You know, you've got people you've known them long enough, some of them been here since I've been here. So, yeah, you become friends," Mack said.