SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — 2021 may have had some ups and downs for many of us, all leaving memories to look back on. And now as we wrap up the year, we wanted to take a look back at the stories that made us smile, laugh, and maybe even just brightened your day.

Living in South Dakota, you’ll always find neighbors helping neighbors and community members stepping up to lend a helping hand.

That’s exactly what happened in Miller this summer after people came together to paint a home.

Scott Teason was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer last year.

“So far things seem good. Treatments are working. The brain scans are coming back clean,” Scott said.

He wanted to paint his home, but never got around to it.

Then about 30 people grabbed paintbrushes and got to work.

“We had to scrape the entire house. We had to caulk it, prime it, cover windows and then we painted it, and we painted it again and then we did the trim. A lot of blood, sweat and tears into this place, but it was fun too,” executive director, On Hand Development, Kecia Beranek said.

A gift this family is thankful for.

“It’s truly a blessing for us and we hopefully are able to pay it forward one day,” Scott’s wife, Trisha Teason said.

Residents at a Brookings nursing home are proving you’re never too old to ride a bike.

“I never thought I’d get to ride again. I was very happy when they got these,” nursing home resident, Darlene Carpenter said.

These ‘wheelchair bicycles’ have electronic assist to make pedaling easier.

“It’s a beautiful fall day,” said Activities Assistant, Jessie Kuechenmeister.

An activity allowing these residents to once again enjoy a ride outdoors and take in nature.

“Sitting here in a chair riding down the street, there’s nothing like it, it’s so unique,” nursing home resident Caroline Potas said.

Over the summer two best friends became business partners.

During their first lemonade stand, they donated all the money they earned to an animal rescue.

But their kindness didn’t end there. The money raised from their second lemonade stand was donated to Project SOS.

“We were really happy and excited that we got to do a lemonade stand. And then when a bunch of people came, I felt really good that a bunch of people are helping support project SOS and a bunch of other students,” 4th grader, Lauren Olson said.

$450 was used to purchase school supplies for local kids.

“I think a lot of people thought we were crazy having a whole cart full of just like 40 supplies of each things,” 4th grader, Macie Miles said.

The young business partners hope to do it again next summer.

“It makes me feel really happy and like I did something really good to help others,” Olson said.

Health care workers have played a key role throughout the pandemic.

And while it’s a hard job, it’s one that one KELOLAND woman has held for more than 50 years.

Arlene Bryenldson started as a CNA and med aid at Centerville Rehab and Care in 1967.

“One year led to the other and I just kept on doing what I was doing because I loved it,” CNA, Med aid, Arlene Bryenldson said.

She turned 86 in September. And she doesn’t plan on retiring just yet.

“When I found out she was turning 86, I said, ‘Arlene do you ever plan to retire?,’ and she said ‘no I don’t plan to retire,’ and I said ‘how about cutting back?,’ and she said ‘no don’t plan to cut back, I had two days off and I could hardly wait to get here,'” director of nursing, Patty Knutson said.

She credits the residents here who make her want to keep coming back to work.

“At some point, I will cut back, but right now I’m happy doing what I do because I can,” Bryenldson said.

Finally, we share the story of a World War Two veteran, George Ferrel who was laid to rest at the Sioux Falls Veterans Cemetery.

George had no family or close friends. He became friends with Dorothy Allstot at a senior housing community where they both lived.

“George was a double amputee, he kinda needed some help and my mother was volunteering her time just kind of help him helping his quality of life be better,” Tom Allstot said.

When George died in 2004, Dorthy was able to get his ashes from the funeral home.

Eventually, Dorothy got Alzheimer’s and her son took George’s remains.

“Then I took the remains into my home and my original plan was to bury him out at the national veteran’s cemetery near Sturgis,” Allstot said.

But no luck.

After a year and a half of hard work and help from a fellow veteran, the South Dakota Veterans Cemetery near Sioux Falls said they had a place for George in September.

“I’m going to thank him for his service and I’m going to tell him what an honor it is to do this. to do it for him, I’m honored,” Allstot said.

Now George is in his final resting place.

“There is an old saying it’s a soldier’s duty to serve and it’s our duty to remember,” Allstot said.

And if you have an idea for a positively KELOLAND, just email it to