Unmarked graves are common in many cemeteries, especially ones that are over 100 years old.
At the Minnehaha County Cemetery, there are dozens of unmarked graves, sadly a lot of them are for infants.
But thanks to some area high school football players, those graves now have names.
Sunday football players from Lincoln, Roosevelt and Tea Area teamed up with the Odd Fellows of Sioux Falls, a local service organization, to tackle a grave problem.
“We really feel like every life matters,” Carol Woljter said.
For years, these graves sat unmarked for various reasons; whether due to financial problems or they don’t have any more family around.
The football players helped place new headstones at several of the unmarked graves for infants.
“We started last year with marking 10 and this year through a partnership with Family Memorials by Gibson they are selling us these markers at 10% of the cost so we were able to do 20 this year,” Woltjer said.
The names engraved on each headstone is based off records kept by the county.
“We basically know their names and when they were born and when they died,” Woltjer said.
“Today was pretty special and it was nice putting a name to the stones that we put in the ground,” senior Tyler Feldkamp said.
“It just teaches them that there are a lot of things in life bigger than themselves so anytime we can come out and do a project like this that quite frankly not a lot of people think of but yet it’s something pretty special and for them to come out and give up their time on a Sunday afternoon they are usually watching NFL games or something like that,” Jared Fredenburg,head coach Lincoln High School said.
“It touches my heart because it’s a great way to introduce young people to how good it feels to serve,” Woltjer said. “It’s a great lesson, it’s a great life lesson we all need to learn,” Woltjer said.
If you’d like to donate to the cause or volunteer you can email sfioof9 @outlook.com